P2005348: AHDB Knowledge Exchange Call - Providing raspberry growers with guidance on optimum storage of long-cane raspberries


AHDB has been part-funding the UK raspberry breeding programme at the James Hutton Institute for more than 15 years and in that time, several promising new selections of summer fruiting raspberries have been named and released to the industry. Examples include Glen Doll, Glen Fyne, Glen Dee, Glen Ericht, Glen Carron, Glen Mor, Skye and Lewis.  They have been adopted by the industry to varying levels. Initially, growers have planted them in trial quantities to assess their performance on a small scale and compare them to standard industry cultivars such as Glen Ample and Tulameen.

The newly named cultivars are generally grown and managed in the systems that have been developed to suit the existing cultivars, but this does not necessarily suit the new ones. As a result, the new cultivars often fail to perform to their full potential and growers decide not to plant larger quantities, with the result that the new cultivar fails to have an impact that matches the significant funds and effort expended in the breeding and selection process.

The industry would therefore benefit if some additional funds were used to develop an optimum production system for new cultivars before their release to industry. This would help to form guidelines for plant raisers and growers on how best to produce and grow the new cultivars so that they achieve their full potential whenever they are planted in small quantities. Growers could then make a fairer comparison with the standard cultivars and avoid new selections from being discarded too soon following their release.

Purpose/primary objective

There are a number of parameters within the production of raspberry cultivars which could be assessed and developed including their optimum growing density in propagation, optimum support systems, nutritional needs and improved understanding of their pest and disease susceptibility. However, with funds limited, AHDB would prefer to focus on an area that can have a major impact on the yield and fruit quality such as optimum chilling requirement and cold storage.

A very high proportion of summer fruiting raspberry cultivars are now produced as ‘long canes’ which are ready for planting out and cropping in the year of establishment (some 90 days later). Plant raisers and growers would find it useful to know the optimum chilling requirement and duration of cold-storage required for each cultivar to achieve maximum bud break and full yield potential with optimum fruit size and quality.


We are therefore inviting research or advisory organisations to tender for funding to identify optimum chilling and duration of cold storage for the most promising selections likely to be released to the industry from the UK raspberry breeding programme and any other relevant programmes that UK growers are making use of. This would involve procuring container-grown ‘long-canes’ from the propagation phase at staggered dates in the autumn and early winter, storing the canes at different temperatures and for different durations, then planting them out at staggered times in the spring and early summer and recording their bud-break, total yield and fruit quality.

For each selection/cultivar assessed, the results would provide information to form guidance to propagators and growers of the optimum time to put the canes into cold store, the optimum temperature to hold them at and the optimum duration of storage to maximise yield and fruit quality in the year of planting.

Initially, the funding would be for one year of work which would begin in autumn 2020 and run through the storage season to spring and early summer 2021.

Collaboration with other organisations with knowledge and skills in propagating long-cane material and its storage would be welcomed.

Specific objectives

  • Identify new raspberry selections or named cultivars from the UK raspberry breeding programme or other programmes being used by UK growers which need to be assessed for their cold storage requirement.

  • Procure the chosen selections/named cultivars as container-grown ‘long-cane’ material in the autumn months.

  • Produce an experimental protocol which should be set up to determine the optimum cold storage temperature and optimum duration of storage for each selection/cultivar chosen.

  • Assess and compare the relative yields and fruit quality produced from each selection/cultivar at the chosen range of cold storage conditions.

  • Provide the results presented in ‘web-friendly’ text which will form guidance to growers which can be read on the AHDB website.

  • Present the results at AHDB and other industry fruit events.

Related information

Table 1. Previously funded AHDB and other funded work on raspberry variety development

Project Number


MAFF Project

HH15 19TSF Year round soft fruit production with regard to raspberry and blackberry

SF 035a

Scottish raspberry breeding programme

SF 035b

UK raspberry breeding programme

SF 035c

UK raspberry breeding programme

SF 041b

Raspberry: summer fruiting raspberry variety trial

SF 041c

Summer fruiting raspberry variety trial

SF 041d

Raspberry: summer fruiting raspberry variety trial

AHDB Horticulture Knowledge transfer covering this topic

Factsheet 16/17 AHDB Summer fruiting raspberry variety trial

Factsheet 15/14 New varieties and selections from the UK Raspberry Breeding Programme

Some of these reports and publications are available from the AHDB website www.ahdb.org.uk/. This list is not exclusive or exhaustive and includes examples of previous and ongoing AHDB funded work. Other relevant international and national research should be considered. Applicants are expected to review the AHDB Horticulture back catalogue and not repeat work which has already been completed.


The following parameters will apply to the call and the subsequent programme:

  • Submissions may be from single contractors or collaborative consortia;

  • Any questions posed by potential applicants will be published on the AHDB Tenders web page, along with responses.


This work will inform and guide the propagators and growers of long-cane raspberries of the optimum cold-storage temperature and duration of storage to maximise fruit yields and quality produced in the year of planting.

Budget, duration and collaboration

  • A maximum budget of £25,000 has been allocated for this project, which has a duration of one year starting on 01 October 2020 and finishing on 30 September 2021.

  • AHDB reserves the right to consider budget limits and constraints when assessing submissions and may choose not to make an award if submitted ideas prove unaffordable at this time within the context of the wider programme of AHDB work.

Completion and submission of the application form

Please refer to the guidance notes for completion of application forms. Applicants should complete the AHDB Research and KE Application Form - Full Proposal Large. Completed forms must be emailed to research@ahdb.org.uk no later than 12:00 noon on Wednesday 01 July 2020

Proposed timings for application and project delivery

Call Published

01 June 2020

Full Proposal submission deadline

01 July 2020 (12:00 noon)

There is no Concept or Expressions of Interest phase.

Make an electronic submission to research@ahdb.org.uk 

Receipt will be the time of receiving email.

Applications reviewed

15 July 2020

Applicants informed of outcome

17 July 2020

Anticipated start date

01 October 2020

Project duration

Twelve months (completion date 30 September 2021)


If you have a specific question related to this call, please email research@ahdb.org.uk. As part of the open tender process, AHDB cannot discuss specific project details with you before submitting your proposal. Answers to specific questions will be anonymised and published.

Assessment criteria

Evaluation of submissions

A number of criteria will used to judge the quality of the submissions (value in brackets indicates weight in assessment process)

Project Title:



SECTION 2: THE BUSINESS CASE (3x weighting, total 30 points; PASS THRESHOLD = 15)

Evidence for the project demand including current cost of the problem to industry. Justification for levy funding. Quantification of proposed economic benefits and a realistic cost:benefit proposal. Details for supporting industry sustainability. Environmental benefits appropriately identified and any negative impacts detailed. Details of how the project will solve a supply chain problem and support good decision making. Relevance to AHDB priorities.



Section Score:

Section Total:

SECTION 3: PROJECT OUTCOMES (2x weighting, total 20 points)

Beneficiaries appropriately identified. Approach to deliver industry KE and links to existing AHDB KE activities. Appropriateness and clarity of industry engagement. Timeframe qualified to deliver impact. Clarification over additional activities/resource required to deliver impact. Skills & training opportunities identified. Clear IP exploitation plan where relevant.



Section Score:

Section Total:

SECTION 4: TECHNICAL APPROACH AND WORK PLAN (3x weighting, total 30 points)

Evaluation of current knowledge (appropriate references used) and awareness of other work. Clarity of aims, objectives, work packages and milestone schedule. Originality & innovation. Effective collaboration with commercial companies. Is the approach statistically robust? Feasibility and risk management.



Section Score:

Section Total:


Knowledge and expertise. Quality of past contributions to, and impact on, the topic. Potential to bring added value through current and/or past contributions. Complementarities of expertise of the team.



Section Total:

SECTION 6: PROJECT COSTS (total 10 points)

Are costs reasonable and necessary? Will the total budget be adequate to carry out the proposed activities? For a cross-Sector proposal, is the shared budget appropriate & clearly defined? Added value of co-funding?



Section Total:

Total Points      out of 100

Recommend for Funding      Yes / No

Weightings are set to reflect the importance of specific criteria, any proposal failing to achieve a specified threshold may be rejected. They have been set to ensure appropriate standards are met.

AHDB Scoring Guidelines



Exceptional quality; cutting-edge; highly likely to produce benefits/impact of great importance to the industry; highly innovative; impactful KE activities proposed; applicant is widely recognized in the field with an outstanding record of accomplishment; consortium is strong across all technical areas needed to accomplish the proposed outcomes. Strongly recommend support


Very good    


High quality; potential to make an important contribution; innovative; likely to produce significant benefits/ impact for the industry; impactful KE activities proposed; applicant has a good reputation in the field; consortium appears to have more than adequate expertise across all technical areas required to deliver the proposed outcomes. Strongly recommend support



Interesting; innovative; likely to produce good benefits/impact; good grasp of appropriate KE activities; applicant has a solid reputation in the field; consortium appears to have adequate expertise across all technical areas required to deliver the proposed outcomes. Should be supported



Interesting but little originality; likelihood of making significant impact is small; may require significant additional investment to deliver benefits; applicant/team lacks experience, has not established leadership in the field or demonstrated the potential to make impactful contributions. Support may be considered if strong in other areas



Poor quality; not well planned; lacking expertise; not feasible; unlikely to make an important contribution to fundamental or applied knowledge; unlikely to produce benefits/impact; lacking convincing evidence that the proposing team has sufficient and appropriate expertise to accomplish all of the tasks as outlined in the proposal. Should not be supported


Very poor      

Very poor quality; duplicative of other work; fails to address the issues; no evidence for demand; cannot be judged against the criterion due to missing or incomplete information. Should not be supported