Research is viewed as the means whereby not only the grower, but also the grower’s children, can judge the fruit of our efforts.
Since its inception, FSGA has made millions of dollars in contributions to strawberry research. But the true impact of the Association is actually much greater.
The Association has served at the local level; University of Florida’s IFAS advisory committees, Gulf Coast Research Advisory Committee, Hillsborough County Vegetable Committee, Hillsborough County Economic Development Council, and Southwest Florida Water Management District Agricultural Advisory Committee and at the state level, the Florida Ag Council. At national level, the Association has worked with the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET), The National Clean Plant Network Berry Board and the National Berry Crops Initiative. This networking has helped leverage additional millions of dollars to benefit our industry.
The Gulf Coast Research and Education Center has patented nine Florida strawberry varieties since 1992: SWEET CHARLIE, ROSA LINDA, EARLIBRITE, STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL, CARMINE, WINTER DAWN, FLORIDA ELYANA, FLORIDA RADIANCE, AND WINTERSTAR™. These varieties were developed for optimum performance in Florida’s winter environmental conditions, however they are now marketed all over the world.
As a result, Florida strawberry research receives worldwide support of its program. This isn’t small change, either. Strawberry royalties collected from these varieties have made FSPS the second largest source of royalty funding of all IFAS varieties.
FSGA’s wholly owned sister organization, Florida Strawberry Patent Service Corporation (FSPS), holds exclusive rights to license agreements for growing Florida patented strawberry varieties around the world.
The Association issues licenses, collects royalties, and sends monies to fund additional variety research. Because of the Association’s long standing relationship of funding strawberry research, IFAS allows FSPS to rebate $.50-$5.00/thousand to FSGA members. YOU MUST BE A MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING TO RECEIVE THIS REBATE.
FSGA was heavily involved in gathering the political and financial resources to develop the $15 million Gulf Coast Research and Education Center’s expanded land, laboratories, and faculty to keep our industry pushing the envelope to maintain our strategic marketing advantage.