Future table grapes will be more than tri-colored

July 22, 2021 | by Lee Allen

When it comes to table grapes of the future, they “won’t just be red, green, or black anymore,” says Andy Higgins, CEO of International Fruit Genetics in Bakersfield.

“If you look at apples, they’re sold by name and consumers have preferences,” he says. “Potatoes are sold by variety name and who would have thought 20 years ago that that would have been the case. It’s part of a trend that consumers want product choices.”

IFG seeks to do its part as a breeder of innovation, admitting that not all discoveries are winners and some turn out to be like the auto industry’s Edsel. “You can’t predict everything and new products get tested in grower trials, with marketers, and ultimately with consumers who vote with their pocketbook.”

The history of growing fruit

July 15, 2021 | by  Chris Owens

The fruit industry has dramatically changed over the last 20 years.

IFG (International Fruit Genetics) showed that a table grape could be so much more, providing a new and interesting consumer experience with the Cotton Candy grape. During the past 20 years, there has been a steady increase in the growth of proprietary fruit breeding programs and we have been very successful by placing a greater emphasis on consumer acceptance of our new varieties.

How has fruit breeding changed?

Taking the table grape and making it not just an option at the store, but something that consumers seek out is a huge change in the industry.

Cherries without the chill

June 24, 2021 | by Kate Prengaman

California breeder International Fruit Genetics is best known for its innovative, flavor-forward grape varieties. Now, the company hopes to find similar success with its new low-chill cherry releases that are intended for regions with mild to almost nonexistent winters, but they could have potential far beyond.

Both the grape and cherry breeding programs were founded 20 years ago, but cherries proved a much slower crop to breed, said Chris Owens, IFG’s lead plant breeder. Longtime breeder and IFG co-founder David Cain retired in 2020.

“We’re attempting to do extremely low-chill cherries,” Owens said. “We’re based in the lower San Joaquin Valley, and we’re trying to breed cherries for this environment.”

So far, IFG has released seven varieties under the Cheery trade name, including Cheery Grand, Cheery Treat, Cheery Blush and Cheery Glow, and dozens more selections are under evaluation in partnership with commercial growers, Owens said. The parentage in the breeding program is quite diverse, and the low-chill trait comes from a tropical Prunus species that needed to be crossed again and again into material with higher fruit quality.

La historia de la fruticultura: 20 años de avances en la industria

June 24, 2021 | Por: Leandro Martín Olmos | Actualidad Técnica, Frutas, Newsletter 243, Variedades

IFG (International Fruits Genetics) celebra los revolucionarios avances aportados al mundo del mejoramiento de la fruta. IFG demostró que una uva de mesa podía ser mucho más, proporcionando una nueva e interesante experiencia al consumidor con la uva Cotton Candy™.

Durante los últimos 20 años, ha habido un aumento constante en el crecimiento de los programas de mejora de la fruta de propiedad e IFG ha tenido mucho éxito al poner un mayor énfasis en la aceptación del consumidor de las nuevas variedades. Con cada paso hacia adelante, el IFG continúa asegurando su lugar en el espacio agrícola, y están orgullosos de ser una fuente de visión y avance en la industria.

The History of Fruit Breeding: Celebrating 20 Years Advancing the Industry

June 10, 2021 | Dr. Chris Owens, Lead Plant Breeder at IFG

The fruit industry has dramatically changed over the last 20 years, and IFG is celebrating the pioneering advancements we have brought to the world of fruit breeding.  IFG showed that a table grape could be so much more, providing a new and interesting consumer experience with the Cotton Candy™ grape.  During the past 20 years, there has been a steady increase in the growth of proprietary fruit breeding programs and IFG has been very successful by placing a greater emphasis on consumer acceptance of our new varieties.  With each step forward, IFG continues to secure its place in the agricultural space, and we are proud to be a source of vision and advancement in the industry.

IFG celebrating 20th anniversary in grapes

June 4, 2021 | By Keith Loria

Since 2001, Bakersfield, CA-based IFG has grown more than 75,000 grape seedlings and the category is a large and important part of its business and portfolio, with more than 70,000 acres under license across 14 countries.

The company is widely recognized for inventing the Cotton Candy and Sweet Globe grapes.

“Compared to other table grape breeders, our company is young,” said Andy Higgins, IFG’s chief executive officer. “We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year and have been actively licensing only for the past decade or so. We are fortunate that several of our first introductions were successful out of the gate, including Sweet Celebration. Our development has continued and we now have more than 40 patented varieties.”

IFG’s breeding program is broad, covering grower needs, retailer requirements and always looking to bring the very best forward to the consumer.

Exciting ag project breaks ground near McFarland

May 8, 2021 | David Couch For The Record

By now, you know that I love seeing investment in our District 4 communities that create high-paying jobs, bring economic prosperity and build home-grown opportunities for our youth. So it is especially pleasing to me to announce an exciting new ag-based technology development near the community of McFarland.

Recently, I had the honor of attending the International Fruit Genetics groundbreaking ceremony to unveil Fruitworks/The IFG Discovery Center. The complex includes up to 150 planted acres of fruit varieties, 25,000 square feet of greenhouses, and 28,000 square feet of laboratory and support buildings. The site will serve as IFG’s global campus.

IFG is a breeder and licensor of new fruit varieties. Also, IFG is responsible for overseeing more than 300 patents and plant breeders’ rights and more than 2,300 trademarks globally. The company is famous for producing the cotton candy grapes that are seedless with a unique long lasting cotton candy flavor. IFG owns 45 fruit patents. As a matter of fact, IFG has 32 patented table grape varieties, licensed to more than 1061 table grape licensees.

IFG building new R&D headquarters in California

April 27, 2021 | Fresh Fruit Portal

Fruit breeding and licensing company IFG has unveiled plans for the company's new $12 million state-of-the-art research facility and breeding campus in California.

The new facility, named Fruitworks | The IFG Discovery Center, will be the company’s new research and development headquarters and is located in McFarland.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place last Tuesday, among the presence of Sally Gonzalez, Mayor of McFarland, IFG founders Jack Pandol, Glen and Craig Stoller and Dr. David Cain.

IFG Unveils Plans For Fruitworks | The IFG Discovery Center, A New $12 Million Facility in McFarland, Calif.

April 26, 2021 | GlobeNewswire 

Founders and staff of the world’s leading fruit breeding company joined local politicians and leaders in a ceremony to kick off the development of a new state-of-the-art campus.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., April 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — IFG, the world’s top fruit-breeding and licensing company widely recognized for inventing the Cotton Candy™ and Sweet Globe™ grapes, last Tuesday unveiled plans and the name of the company’s new $12 million state-of-the-art research facility and breeding campus at a socially-distanced groundbreaking ceremony. The new facility, named Fruitworks | The IFG Discovery Center, will be the company’s new research and development headquarters and is located in McFarland, Calif.

Last Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony took place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Representatives for local dignitaries David Valadao, U.S. Congressman, California 21st District, Shannon Grove, Senator, California 16th State Senate District and Vince Fong, Assemblyman – California 34th State Assembly District were on hand to welcome the new site and present acknowledgement. Sally Gonzalez, Mayor of McFarland, shared the significance of the project for the community and David Couch, Kern County Supervisor, 4th District, presented a Certificate of Recognition. IFG founders Jack Pandol, Glen and Craig Stoller and Dr. David Cain were all present and shared their vision for the future of IFG at this new location.

Fruit-breeder IFG breaks ground on $12 million campus near McFarland

April 20, 2021 | by John Cox
 
Even for a company with customers and employees spread across 15 countries, it felt a little clunky shuttling between greenhouses in Edison, laboratory space near Delano, a cold-storage facility in Shafter and headquarters in Bakersfield.

That sort of decentralized operating model will be drawing to a close after fruit-breeder IFG launched construction Tuesday of a 160-acre facility west of McFarland that will provide room for everything from research and administration to licensee-training and consumer taste-testing.

"These are critical things," project manager Tom Bracken said following an early-afternoon toast to the groundbreaking on a mostly empty lot surrounded by commercial orchards. "To be able to have it all in one space is obviously much more effective."

IFG, short for International Fruit Genetics, combined the groundbreaking with its 20-year anniversary celebration in a ceremony that highlighted not just the company's humble origins but also a decidedly science-based future.

CEO Andy Higgins also took the opportunity Tuesday to unveil the $12 million project's name: Fruitworks / The IFG Discovery Center.

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