The plant material is the foundation of an orchard. A good foundation is essential to develop a sustainable and resilient orchard. Variety selection in arboriculture today faces many challenges. Orchards planted today will have to produce during 10 to 20 years depending on the species. The varieties planted today will therefore have to face and adapt to climate change, warmer winters, heat waves, water stress or excess, emerging pests, while remaining competitive.
Producers and consumers alike want "low-input" crops, limiting chemical interventions and fertiliser inputs. Consumers are looking for a "beautiful", attractive, "appealing" product, with an optimal taste quality, to satisfy them and make them buy again "without nasty surprises".
Good shelf life and availability on the shelves all year round, as far as possible, also seem to be essential. Can variety selection meet all these expectations? Is it able to innovate sufficiently and quickly enough to meet these multiple requirements?
Through the examples of apples and "small red fruits", we will try to define on the one hand the stakes of varietal selection for our future orchards and the real expectations of consumers, and on the other hand, to know how we select today for tomorrow and if all these demands are compatible.