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How fruit breeding adapts to climate change

April 12, 2023 | by Marieke Hemmes at Fresh Plaza

Fruit breeding has a long generation time as it takes years to develop a new table grape or cherry variety. As a result, global warming is a significant concern to factor in and one that impacts all regions in the world. “Due to the long propagation time, we need to predict 10 to 20 years in the future,” says Chris Owens, Lead Breeder at IFG. The company mainly breeds table grape and cherry varieties, but how to develop varieties that can withstand climate changes? It’s a much-talked-about subject that gets even more attention as Earth Day on April 22 is nearing.

Breeding Efforts Affected by Climate Change

April 11, 2023 | MyAgLife

On today’s episode, Kylie Harlan reports on how the plant breeding industry is keeping up with the state’s changing climate.

IFG debuts Family of Flavors retail tool

April 6, 2023 | By Maura Maxwell

Grouping of table grapes by flavours aims to simplify varietal range for retailers and consumers
IFG Family of Flavors

International Fruit Genetics (IFG) has launched its IFG Family of Flavors to better communicate to retailers and customers its diverse range of grape varieties and their corresponding flavour categories – including sweet neutral, tropical, and muscat.

Located on the IFG website, it allows retailers to group and choose the varieties most appealing to their target customers.

The categories include Tropical and Fruity; Floral and Muscat; Spicy; Toffee and Sweet Neutral.

“Let’s face it, 48 varieties of table grapes, while an achievement, can also be a bit overwhelming. We wanted an easier and more digestible way for retailers and consumers to understand the diversity of flavours that IFG table grapes encompass,” said Jennifer Maguire, the company’s international commercial manager table grapes.

IFG reports strong demand for Candy Hearts table grapes

March 14, 2023 | By Maura Maxwell

Red grape with the sweet tropical flavour is generating similar following to Cotton Candy a few years ago, breeder says
International Fruit Genetics (IFG) is reporting increased demand from both consumers and growers for its Candy Hearts table grape variety. The company said the red grape, known for its sweet tropical flavour and floral aroma, is quickly becoming one of its most popular varietals.

Today, Candy Hearts grapes are mainly harvested from Chile and available in stores during March and April. From May, production will move to the US and Mexico, which will supply US stores throughout the summer.

According to IFG, the grapes can vary in colour intensity depending on the region where they were grown, but they always retain their unique flavour.

IFG Celebrates 20 Years of the Cotton Candy Grape Delighting Adults and Children Around the World

February 22, 2023 |

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – International Fruit Genetics LLC (IFG), the world’s largest table grape breeder, which boasts 48 patented table grape varieties, 10 patented sweet cherry varieties and its first patented raisin variety, is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the breeding of the Cotton Candy™ grape.

To date, the Cotton Candy™ table grape has become a worldwide symbol of fruit innovation. It surprised millions – adults and children, alike – with its toffee-like taste, raising the bar for table grape flavors beyond what consumers had come to expect. It was the first table grape variety in the highly flavored novelty category to hit the market.

The Cotton Candy™ grape was first naturally bred in 2003 by geneticist, horticulturalist, and co-founder of IFG Dr. David Cain, but it took 10 more years before the Cotton Candy™ grape started to appear in retail stores. Since then, Cotton Candy™ grape sales and popularity have flourished. Currently, Cotton Candy™ table grapes are grown in 13 countries with more than 34,000 US-tons produced and sold in main market destinations.

IFG unveils new trademark names for low-chill Cheery Cherry Line

February 13, 2023 | EUROFRUIT

Cheery Cupid, Cheery Nebula and Cheery Chap are the latest additions to the range.

International Fruit Genetics (IFG) has launched three new trademark names for its growing Cheery Cherry line. Cheery Cupid, Cheery Nebula and Cheery Chap join Cheery Moon, Cheery Glow and the other cherries that make up the range.

Cheery Cupid, patented as IFG Cher-ten, is an early heart-shaped fruit with a sweet-tart taste which IFG said is performing “exceptionally well in all test locations”. The first commercial volumes from Spain and Chile will come on stream this year, with cherries from California available in 2024.

Cheery Nebula, patented as IFG Cher-eight, is a big round cherry with a long green stem and intense taste comes early in the harvest window with a low chill requirement of less than 300 chill hours.

IFG honors long-term licensee with second annual D.W. Cain Award

February 8, 2023 |

International Fruit Genetics LLC (IFG), the world’s largest table grape breeder, which boasts over 48 patented table grape varieties and ten patented sweet cherry varieties, has announced that Kuara Comercial e Exportadora de Frutas Ltda based in Brazil is the winner of the company’s second annual D.W. Cain Award competition.

“We are proud to recognize Kuara Comercial e Exportadora de Frutas for their contribution to our ‘flavor revolution.’ While their founders Arnaldo, Daniel and Ilonka Eijsink have been long-time supporters of IFG, Kuara Frutas officially joined the IFG licensee family in 2021. Since then, they have fully committed to utilizing our trademarks and marketing our table grapes in unique and highly visible ways. In the short time they’ve been a licensee, they have already been a pioneer in their work with high value segments in the Brazilian market,” said CEO Andy Higgins.

Fruit breeder undergoes digital transformation

January 17, 2023 |

Table grape breeder International Fruit Genetics (IFG), which boasts 48 patented table grape varieties and 10 patented sweet cherry varieties, has completed its digital transformation.

IFG collects vast amounts of data that can now be summarized and consolidated to aid decision-making for IFG and its licensees. In 2019, IFG first launched the project to consolidate critical data to develop a more integrated system and has since expanded that foundation by linking numerous internal and external applications including the use of artificial intelligence. This allows IFG to provide better recommendations, make more informed decisions for both existing fruit varieties and licensees.

“The automation of IFG systems and data collection methods provides a myriad of benefits,” said Carol Higgins, solutions architect/manager IT, IFG. “The three IFG licensee support pillars of Commercial, Quality and Technical contribute to and utilize the extensive data collected. The IFG team’s advice is shared throughout the supply chain, ranging from the field to harvest, packaging and sales.”

IFG stays ahead of cherry curve

January 3, 2023 | By Jeff Long

Alwyn van Jaarsveld, IFG’s international cherry commercial manager, discusses the leading fruit breeder’s expanding varietal portfolio

What’s new with IFG in cherries?

Alwyn van Jaarsveld: In 2023, consumers and retailers can expect to see even more IFG cherries in the US and other countries. As the plantings start to mature, more IFG cherries can bloom earlier in the season – getting a head start in retail.

We have a very special flavor up our sleeve, but we are not letting the cat out of the bag yet. What we can say is this newest release is temporarily called ‘IFG Cher-ten’ – the actual trademark name will be announced early next year (2023).

What’s ahead for table grape, cherry breeding

December 13, 2022 | By JENNIFER STRAILEY

Changing consumer expectations and tastes, climate change necessitating “low-chill” fruit, and the need to digitize and harness data for breeding purposes are all issues that may have been present in 2022 but will increase intensity in 2023, says International Fruit Genetics LLC (IFG).

The Bakersfield, Calif.-based table grape breeder with more than 48 patented table grape varieties and 10 patented sweet cherry varieties has released the following predictions in the table grape and cherry space for 2023.

In 2023, expect the table grape section of many retail outlets to offer some rather exotic and distinctive flavored grape varieties to appeal to more eclectic palates, says IFG. As consumers have become more sophisticated, retailers and shoppers alike have shown favor to fruit that surprise and delight — and table grapes are very much a part of that trend.

“Not too long ago, table grapes had a relatively uniform taste. When shoppers put grapes in their baskets, they knew what they were getting,” Jennifer Maguire, IFG international commercial table grape manager, said in a release. “That all started to change about 10 years ago with new and exciting varieties that had flavors which were not so traditional and grape-like, such as Cotton Candy.