RosBREED’s Socio-Economics team members include Chengyan Yue, Karina Gallardo, Lan Liu, Nan Yang, Vicki McCracken, Ray Jussaume, Mykel Taylor, and Jim Luby.
Click here for a full description of their Team Objectives.
Surveying growers to address market-driven needs
By RosBREED‘s Socio-Economics Team (Chengyan Yue, Karina Gallardo, and Vicky McCracken).
The introduction of new cultivars guarantees sustainability of the rosaceous fruit industry in a highly competitive business environment, by attracting consumers with innovative and appealing fruit cultivars. But target trait selection for the new cultivars is challenging.
From a marketing perspective, breeding is a process, like many other new product development activities, that creates and delivers value to customers that benefits key stakeholders (i.e., producers, processors, shippers and packers, retailers, and consumers) along the supply chain. Given the goal of fruit breeding is to provide such value, breeders should consider stakeholders’ needs and wants in order to increase new cultivars’ likelihood of success.
The Socio-Economics (SE) Team of RosBREED has conducted a survey of the North American rosaceous fruit breeders. Survey results show that breeders face socio-economic challenges and these challenges are at least as important as technical challenges. For example, one important socio-economic challenge is “uncertainty if a cultivar would be commercially viable.” More frequent communication between breeders and industry stakeholders might help lessen this challenge.
Growers constitute one of the most important stakeholder groups in the supply chain. Their input is crucial in informing breeding decisions. During the winter of 2011/2012 (see diagram right), the SE team will conduct a survey of apple, sweet cherry, tart cherry, peach, and strawberry growers in major producing states. The goal of this effort is to become more knowledgeable about growers’ perceptions of the importance of targeted plant and fruit quality traits. The information will be used to objectively estimate economic values for such traits. Growers’ input, in combination with feedback received from other supply chain stakeholders, will help guide breeding programs’ decisions. This will add to RosBREED’s overall goals of having breeding programs targeting the right traits, applying modern genetic tools more efficiently, and speeding the development and release of superior cultivars that meet the expectations of the supply chain and the major stakeholders. We will distribute the grower survey in November 2011 by mail.
In the 2011 November newsletter issue, we described clicker surveys that were developed and conducted during the 2012 winter grower meetings.
Artilce by Jim McFerson
2010 ASHS slide presentations:
- Using Socio-Economic Values to Help Set Objective Plant Breeding Targets
- Using Socio-Economic Knowledge of Stakeholder Values and Consumer Preferences to Inform Breeding