A new strawberry variety promising excellent shelf life and eating quality is now available in commercial volumes.

Viva Patricia has been bred in Spain by the Edward Vinson programme specifically for the UK market. It is described as orange red and sweet to the taste, with good skin firmness and better shelf life than comparative Spanish variety Sabrosa.

The first volumes arrived in the UK in February following the late start of the Spanish season and greater volumes are now available. Some 200 tonnes of Viva Patricia are expected to be available from supplier BerryWorld this season, which will run until May.

“We will assess its performance on a commercial scale against other varieties available at the same time,” said BerryWorld technical director Tim Newton. “How much of the Sabrosa crop is replaced with Viva over the coming years will depend on how this year’s trials perform.”

As well as having higher sugar levels than Sabrosa, it has also produced more fruit in trial fields where the two varieties were planted, Newton added.