Better3fruit was founded in 2000 based on the apple breeding program of KULeuven. Since then it has developed into one of the largest apple breeders in the world. In 2005 Better3fruit also started breeding pear.
The breeding process is based on the age-old principle of crossing and selection. First, two parent varieties are crossed. The progeny of this cross, i.e. the pips, are then cultivated into apple trees. Amongst those thousands of apple trees, each being a different apple variety, we then search for that one tree that meets the current needs. Growers are looking for high production and low disease susceptibility, traders need uniformity and storability, consumers want an apple that is tasty and beautiful.
The basic principle to breeding might be age-old, Better3fruit does of course implement modern knowledge and technology to increase the efficiency of the breeding process. Nevertheless, the whole process takes 20 years to complete, plus another 5 years to get the apples onto the supermarket shelves. The launch of Nicoter/Kanzi®, was Better3fruits first commercial exploit, which now has developed into a worldwide success with over 7 milj trees planted in 2016.