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

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.

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 | 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.

Fruit breeder undergoes digital transformation

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.”

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.

How International Fruit Genetics Is Taking Plant Breeding To the Next Level

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.

Chile cherry growers tour Cheery Moon orchards

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.”

Illegally grown grape harvest donated to aid nonprofit

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.

IFG launches probe into illegal Peruvian plantings of proprietary table grapes

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.

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