Over 300 licensees and retailers attend table grape breeder's field days

October 19, 2022 | By FreshPlaza.com

After a three-year hiatus due to pandemic travel restrictions, International Fruit Genetics LLC (IFG) welcomed nearly 300 international licensees, marketers and retail representatives in July and August to experience the company’s Field Days in person. This year’s events broke company records, with the highest attendance recorded in IFG’s Field Day history.

The overwhelming feedback from all who attended is that innovation and variety are crucial to the success of the international table grape industry. This means no gimmicks, just hardy, naturally bred table grapes with the essential texture (crispness and crunchiness) and an array of imaginative flavors that can appeal to a large international clientele of all ages and backgrounds.

New campus will allow table grape breeder to speed up innovation

October 11, 2022 | By: freshplaza.com

Creating a flavor revolution. That is the mission of California fruit breeder IFG. “About 20 years ago, breeding programs were mostly focused on grower aspects, including tonnage, yield, color and timing,” says Andy Higgins, IFG’s CEO.

When IFG was established back in 2001, consumer experience became the leading factor in the company’s process of developing new varieties. “Our varieties need to tick all the consumer boxes, but also what growers are looking for. The demand of tomorrow’s consumer will be higher than today, and we will need to anticipate that.” An example would be breeding varieties that are more adaptable to an organic way of growing or to climate change. “It is a matter of enhancing positive traits and suppressing negative traits,” added Higgins.

McFarland fruit-breeding facility expected to attract talent, partner companies

August 7, 2022 | BY JOHN COX This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The research and development facility being built in the McFarland area by fruit breeder International Fruit Genetics LLC comes with hopes it will attract not just top scientific talent but also partner companies in the global push for plants that are better suited to extreme weather, drought, disease and labor shortage.

IFG had employee recruitment in mind when it designed the property's series of laboratories, including what would be Kern County's first private-sector, federally certified clean plant-growing facility. The facility's university-like campus was laid out for top biologists from around the country to "feel at home and motivated," CEO Andy Higgins said.

But that's not what Higgins was referring to when he said the company's vision was that "if you build it, they will come." He meant IFG expects to attract and collaborate with automation companies and those using sensor-based algorithms for optimizing moisture and sunlight.

California table grape industry members provide outlook for 2022 season

July 18, 2022 | By freshfruitportal.com

The 2022 California table grape season is off to a solid start with similar volumes to 2021 expected, but high costs, the ongoing shipping crisis and the added challenge of inflation remain a cause for concern.

Industry experts told The Grape Reporter about their expectations for the 2022 California grape season.

President of the California Table Grape Commission Kathleen Nave said that current estimates for crop size this year stand at 95 million 19 pounds boxes, similar to last season’s volume of 95.2 million 19 pound boxes.

Although there was a frost in April and a colder spring than usual this year, Elena Aguaron, who is Commercial Manager for the Americas at International Fruit Genetics (IFG), insisted that volumes would not be heavily affected.

How climate change impacts the process of breeding new cherry varieties

July 5, 2022 | By FreshPlaza.com

IFG started a cherry breeding program 21 years ago. With California being their home base, the company is focused on breeding cherries that are suitable for southern California’s climate. This means they need to flourish despite lower winter chill hours and need to do well with a higher amount of summer heat. “Through good and bad fortune, these past 21 years we’ve learned that global warming is a thing,” says Alwyn van Jaarsveld, IFG’s International Commercial Cherry Manager. “The California climate has become warmer and drier, but we’re on the right track bringing new varieties to market that are adaptable.”

US (CA): FruitWorks, a new research campus to develop fruit varieties

June 9, 2022 | By hortidaily.com

The next time you bite into a table grape or a cherry and admire the flavor, size, and texture, think about FruitWorks/IFG, a research and development company located just outside of Bakersfield, CA. They have invested years in natural breeding practices to develop cultivars that are well-known for their resilience and adaptability and feature a worldwide licensing program that prevents overproduction.

FruitWorks/IFG are now building their dream campus on a 160-acre piece of land, complete with greenhouses provided by Agra Tech.

At the center of its new campus, there are three Agra Tech greenhouses featuring a grow house range consisting of three gutter-connected Solar Light 36' x 156' greenhouses with 12' eaves totaling 16,848 sq. ft. that includes positive pressure cooling, air circulation, and insect exclusion, as well as benches, energy curtains, a control system, and a watering boom in the Insulator greenhouse.

Boosting Cherry Production

June 3, 2022 | By My Ag Life Daily News Report

On today's episode, we hear about changes in cherry breeding to boost California production. Additionally, Kylie Harlan asks UCCE Strawberry and Caneberry Advisor Mark Bolda about the possibility of using microbes in place of fertilizers given high input prices.

New grape varieties strike balance between consumer wants and grower needs

May 23, 2022 | By FreshPlaza.com

Candy Snaps™. Jack’s Salute™. Sugar Crisp™. And of course…Cotton Candy™.

Everyone following the grape industry, very likely recognizes these names as a sampling of the newer varieties of grapes in the marketplace today. As Andy Higgins, CEO of table grape breeder IFG in Bakersfield, California, points out, consumers have had increased access to multiple varieties of grapes recently--particularly so in the past five to six years. Here, he shares insights on variety developments and where the industry is headed in this regard.

When it comes to producing a new variety, that takes some seven to 10 years in development, with two or three of those years alone dedicated to growers putting it into commercial production at volumes large enough for retail distribution. IFG recently introduced three new varieties of grapes: Torch™ (a larger, early red seedless with mild muscat flavor); Bebop™ (a mid-season red seedless with nuances of cherry); and Julep™ (a mid-season black seedless with Labrusca spicy flavor and hints of herbs and mint). IFG groups its varieties into four classifications of flavors: Tropical/Fruity, Muscat, Toffee and Exotics.

IFG to Debut Several New Varieties of Grapes This Summer – Bebop, Julep and Torch

May 6, 2022 | By perishablenews.com

It is time for summer and IFG, the world’s top fruit-breeding and licensing company and creator of the Cotton Candy Grape, has several new and delicious varieties of table grapes that about to hit store shelves including Bebop, Torch and Julep.

Below are the many new and favorite grape varieties consumers will be able to see in the stores over the next few months (including Cotton Candy which has been delighting consumers for nearly two decades).

How a fruit producer is adapting to climate change with genetics

May 5, 2022 | By Jack Ellis

The team at International Fruit Genetics (IFG) is no stranger to ‘customizing’ crops. The Bakersfield, California-based company uses natural breeding techniques to come up with its cultivars, which it then licenses to growers and fruit brands.

Founded by fruit geneticist and former US Department of Agriculture researcher David Cain in 2001, IFG set out on a mission to develop sweeter and larger table grape cultivars – culminating in the creation of its flagship Cotton Candy grape, which went on sale in 2011.

More recently, IFG has been tackling a new and more pressing challenge for the fruit industry: climate change.

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