Florida Strawberry Patent Service
When the first Florida strawberry varieties became available, we formed the Florida Strawberry Patent Service Corporation (FSPS), which provides a turnkey service for royalties. FSPS promotes the patented varieties, corresponds with and collects royalties from the licensed nurseries, helps protect the patents, develops overseas markets, and returns a majority of the royalty revenue back into research at the University of Florida each year.
The program is one of the most successful in the state. The FSPS pumps hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Florida strawberry variety program annually, and the agreement’s oversight stipend has given the organization the flexibility to examine other research funding opportunities.
Strawberries – diverse genetics
Many people are surprised to learn that strawberry growers transplant bare-root plants rather than growing from seeds. Strawberry seeds actually contain a myriad of mixed genetic material, which would produce unpredictable plants. Because of complex genetics (humans have two chromosomes, while many strawberry plants have eight), each patented variety comes from a cloned mother plant. The mother plant generates genetically identical daughter plants (called runners), and they, in turn, generate the next identical generation.
Each year growers plant nearly 100 million plants from one variety, each of which was identical to their great, great, great grandmother found to have good characteristics more than ten years earlier. The major varieties of strawberries grown in Florida are Florida Radiance, Strawberry Festival, Treasure and Carmine.
Patented Florida varieties
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Strawberry Research Center has patented nine varieties since 1992: Sweet Charlie, Rosa Linda, Earlibrite, Strawberry Festival, Carmine, Florida Radiance, Florida Elyana, Winter Dawn, and Winterstar™. Plant royalties collected from growers around the world have made FSPS the second largest source of royalty funding of all IFAS varieties.
Because of the Association’s long standing relationship of funding strawberry research, IFAS allows FSPS to rebate $.50-$5.00/thousand plants to FSGA members. Growers must be a member in good standing to receive this rebate.
For more information on growing Florida strawberry varieties internationally, contact our exclusive licensee, EMCOCAL. Please contact Ekland Marketing Company at [email protected] or 530-345-4476.
For more information on growing Florida varieties within the United States contact: Glenda McNary at 813-752-6822 or email her here.