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Climate change provides both opportunities & risks to horticultural industries located in the NSR. Long-term climate changes will provide huge opportunities for the NSR to grow its horticultural sector given that food supplies from Southern European countries will no longer be sustainable due to a limited supply of water in those regions (European Environment Agency Report 2/2004).

To be positioned for these opportunities we must first overcome some of the current risks in the NSR. Current risks are linked to NSR fruit industries that are based on cultivars planted many years ago & chosen because they coped with harsh winter conditions & required large amounts of winter chilling. As winters in the NSR have become milder these existing cultivars are no longer sustainable or productive.

This project will focus on blackcurrant, raspberries & blackberries with the intention of delivering innovative technologies that will add value to other fruit crops experiencing similar threats specifically related to changes in the NSR's climate.