February 22, 2023 | perishablenews.com
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.
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.
February 8, 2023 | FreshPlaza.com
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.
January 17, 2023 | FreshPlaza.com
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.”
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).
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.
1. MORE UNIQUE FLAVORS GAIN TRACTION AND APPEAL
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.
December 6, 2022 | By David Eddy
Building a campus for fruit breeding is not only a practical move for International Fruit Genetics (IFG), it’s an appropriate metaphor for what’s happening in the world of fruit breeding: More fruit varieties are being developed in the private sector. Traditionally a province of Land Grant universities — think the ‘Honeycrisp’ apple, developed at the University of Minnesota — as money has dried up for these universities’ Extension programs. Breeding is not the priority it once was.
November 11, 2022 | FreshPlaza.com
Chile has become a key cherry growing region and recently, fruit breeding company IFG welcomed their growers in the orchards of Northern Chile, in the Ovalle, IV Region to show their Cheery Cherry™ varieties. In addition to the northern part of the country, this variety is also grown in Central Chile, San Vicente TT, VI Region.
In 2016, the first Cheery Cherry™ variety to be commercially planted were Cheery Moon™, and acreage for all Cheery Cherry™ varieties have expanded to 110 acres (44.34 ha) today. “Our varieties are unique because of their early harvest window and low chill hour requirements,” says Alwyn van Jaarsveld, IFG’s International Cherry Commercial Manager. The advantage of low chill is multifold as it allows cherries to be grown in regions that to date were less suitable or even unsuitable for their cultivation. In the last few years, strange weather phenomena globally have resulted in many fruit-growing regions experiencing hotter than normal temperatures. “Low chill cherries are much better adapted to such conditions and allow the opportunity to open the cherry season with amazing flavor and great eating experience. This has always been enticing, yielding value for customers and growers alike.”
October 26, 2022 | By THE PACKER STAFF
Proceeds from the sale of illegally planted grapes will support an organization that helps women who are victims of violence.
Bakersfield, Calif.-based International Fruit Genetics LLC had sought to end the unauthorized growing of its protected table grape varietal Sugar Crisp at a farm in Italy, according to a news release. A Court of Bari judge ruled Sept. 19 that the harvest could be donated to the nonprofit GIFAFFA Onlus, which was allowed to sell the fruit to a soft drink production company.
More than 45 tons of grapes were harvested from 2,284 plants subject to seizure by the court’s decision, the release said.
“Growing plants of any IFG proprietary grape variety without the permission of IFG infringes on our intellectual property rights as well as those of our licensees,” Andy Higgins, CEO of IFG, said in the release. “We will continue to enforce our policies to combat possible activities that violate our rights and those of our licensees.” He said the company is thankful for all who helped during the judicial process.
October 21, 2022 | By Maura Maxwell
International Fruit Genetics and the Peruvian authorities have launched a probe into illegal plantings of IFG’s protected table grape varieties in the country.
The breeder is working with the National Institute for the Defence of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi) and the National Institute of Agrarian Innovation (INIA) in the city of Ica, to identify properties where there is unauthorised planting, cultivating or illegally collecting and selling of the IFG’s protected table grape varieties.
Among the IFG table grape varieties protected by the Peruvian National Registry of Protected Plant Varieties are Sweet Globe, Cotton Candy, Sweet Sapphire, and Jack’s Salute among others, which are duly registered as trademarks in the US and elsewhere.
© 2021 International Fruit Genetics. All Rights Reserved.
IFG • 8224 Espresso Drive, Suite 200 • Bakersfield, CA 93312 • USA
As the CEO of IFG, Andy Higgins brings over 25 years of executive leadership experience to the company. His expertise in managing global, agricultural intellectual property companies is extensive. His mission at IFG is to realize the full potential of company developed fruit varieties. In addition, Andy is vigilant in defending and protecting all intellectual property assets, including trademarks and patents. He achieves these objectives through development of strong teams that are focused on improving the results of its licensees.
Before joining IFG in 2016, Andy served as president of International Master Products Corporation for three years. Previous to that, Andy was CEO of Ecke Ranch, a global agricultural company engaged in the breeding and production of numerous species of ornamental plants. Over his career, Andy has held numerous executive, production, sales and operational positions. He holds a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture and a Graduate Certificate in Management from UCLA.
Van Kramer is the Chief Financial Officer at IFG. With more that 30 years of financial management experience, Van brings with him an extensive background in finance, accounting, financial planning, budgeting and analysis for food industry companies. Previously Van served as the CFO for California Dairies, Inc. with over $3B in revenue it is the second largest dairy cooperative in the US. Here he led the finance, IT and risk management teams of the company through a company restructure/relocation project, the implementation of a new company wide ERP system, the refinancing of the organizations $500M line of credit as well a major acquisition.
Van is a CPA and holds an MBA in finance from the Leeds School of Business University of Colorado Boulder, and has an undergraduate degree in accounting from the same institution. In his down time, Van and his wife Sheila enjoy traveling and exploring the great outdoors with their two dogs.
Chris Owens has been with IFG since 2016 and is now the Lead Plant Breeder, directing the development of improved varieties of table grapes and sweet cherries. He also directs IFG’s research and development efforts supporting the breeding program, including post harvest evaluations, plant pathology, and genetics. Chris interacts closely with the international technical and commercial teams with the goals to accelerate the adoption and maximize the success of IFG’s new varieties.
Chris holds a BS in Horticulture from the University of Maryland, an MS in Pomology from Cornell University, and a PhD in Plant Breeding & Genetics from Michigan State University. Prior to IFG, Chris spent more than 20 years in germplasm development, breeding, and genetics of both grapevines and cherries. The author of numerous book chapters and scientific articles, he has presented research results at national and international conferences and served on professional societies’ advisory committees.
Giancarlo Mazzini is the Variety Strategy Manager at IFG where he plays an important role in future market analysis, business performance, strategic planning and execution. He leads the Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) and New Product Development (NPD) processes and teams. He manages the varieties’ lifecycle roadmap of the products outlining the end to end vision. He also plays a key role in global forecasting, business intelligence and data integration. Previously Giancarlo worked for almost 3 years as Latin America Regional Manager at IFG establishing the organization and protocols for the region.
Giancarlo holds a BS in Information Engineering and is finishing an Executive MBA from ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. He worked with significant companies in Peru as Operations Manager, including Agricola Chapi and Sociedad Agricola Viru , for both fresh and processed produce. Before venturing into agribusiness, he worked for 8 years in multinational industry leaders including Tetra Pak, Owens Illinois and Procter & Gamble where he held Sales and Marketing management positions.
Jennifer Maguire has been a part of the IFG team since 2017, first managing the commercial business in Australia and now leading the global Commercial Team in licensing support and growth initiatives, execution of varietal strategies, product launches, promotional efforts and operational plans.
Jennifer holds a BS in Agriculture Systems and Environment and a MS in Horticulture from the University of California, Davis. Her experience in table grape production, research and development spans more than 20 years. She is a former Viticulture Farm Advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension and following her relocation to Australia in 2011, she provided independent consultancy services to table grape growers, fruit breeding companies, industry associations and university partnerships in Australia, S. America and Europe and is an organizing member of the 6 th and 7 th International Table Grape Symposium.
Tersia Marcos, or better known in some regions of the world as Christina, is the International Business Manager for IFG and is responsible for new business development of IFG’s table grapes and cherries worldwide.
As the lead for the IFG’s international development, her goal is to drive key strategies in developing new territories, variety offers, product roadmaps, forecasting modules and inventory planning and marketing strategies to ensure a flawless execution at regional and country levels.
Tersia brings to this position a well established background and network in the global fresh fruit industry. Prior to taking on this position at IFG at the start of 2013, she spent 20+ years in the fresh fruit export sector in South Africa at Unifruco , which became Capespan after deregulation and later at Colors Fruit as New Business Development Director and Marketing & Sales Director and Managing Director: North Africa at Farmsecure Holdings.
She holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. Agriculture degrees from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.