“during the past three years, we identified an increase in demand for cantaloupe melons in south american markets,” says moti shmueli, director of regional sales at origene seeds, “and since, we have been working vigorously on developing new cantaloupe melon varieties for our main markets in argentina, chile, colombia, and peru.
although south american countries do export cantaloupe melons, exportation is still marginal compared to the local markets’ demand. therefore, the goal at origene seeds was to develop the perfect cantaloupe for domestic consumption; a cantaloupe with a combination of traits that offer more than color, taste, and texture – bright orange, super sweet, and crispy, but also other add-value characteristics such as large size and weight between 2-3 kg, a medium rind, extended shelf life, high yields, and efficient harvesting.
namely, a product that suits all the partners along the supply chain growers, distributors, consumers, markets and chains that often have different requirements. for example, market chains prefer medium-sized cantaloupes compared to the size of fruit the open markets offer.
“origene’s activities in south america,” explains shmueli, ”are managed together with our business alliances there, including the growers. we test, trial, and oversee the agricultural cycle and growth steps to ensure a perfect product. the successful collaboration included field screening and pilots that resulted in the development of innovative cantaloupe melon varieties the company will introduce in the upcoming season. all feature fantastic taste, beautiful shape, extended shelf life, and optimized harvest times.”
cantaloupes are a popular fruit in south america and their season lasts approximately six months, starting around october-november and ending in february-march. “the former season,” says shmueli, “was rewarding and the forecast for the upcoming one is even brighter.”
according to shmueli, origene’s purpose is not only to persist in improving the taste, aroma, as well as the resistance to soil and plant diseases but also to continue investing in research and the development of varieties that produce higher yields on bigger land plots.
“origene’s new cantaloupe varieties,” adds shmueli, “comply with the criteria we set for our premium product line which correspond with current economic and agricultural challenges growers need to respond to, mainly disease management and the cutting back on water and energy. we offer local growers high-quality varieties that are easy to handle and provide for improved profit margins in times of soaring agricultural production costs and fierce competition.”
“origene seeds,” concludes shmueli, “will carry on collaborating with leading research institutes in israel, south america, and globally to develop products that withstand local and changing weather conditions while maintaining and even improving the growers’ profitability. during this year, and in 2020,” promises shmueli, “origene seeds will introduce more varieties, a fruit of long-term research.”