The Westfalia Fruit Group is seen as a world leader in applied research dealing with subtropical crops, with specific focus on avocados. Westfalia Technological Services (WTS), the research division of Westfalia Fruit, is the largest privately-funded subtropical fruit research organisation in the world.
The in-house dedicated team of scientists and technicians focuses on varietal development, innovation and environmental matters. The main technical team is based near Tzaneen in the Limpopo province of South Africa, while other satellite laboratories are operated in other countries to service stakeholders in other regions.
WTS supports and furthers the objectives of the greater Westfalia Group, addressing challenges and enhancing technologies, from propagation to consumer service. WTS is involved in the testing and commercialisation of avocado and mango plant material in more than 20 countries, in collaboration with various organisations and educational institutions.
WTS is continuously selecting and evaluating both avocado and mango fruiting cultivars to find cultivars that meet specific criteria determined by Westfalia’s greater strategy. These criteria include:
- finding cultivars of superior eating quality that mature either earlier or later than the current commercial cultivars to extend the season for both avocados and mangoes;
- finding cultivars with a better fruit size distribution, colour development (mangoes) and disease resistance; and also
- finding novel cultivars that assist in differentiating Westfalia from other subtropical fruit growers and marketers by the sheer variety on offer by the company.
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