Cherry breeding in Africa provides opportunities to meet growing demand

January 25, 2022 | By

Since its inception in 2001, IFG has focused on breeding table grapes and cherries that provide an incredible eating experience. The company is headquartered in Bakersfield, California, but wants their varieties to be enjoyed by consumers around the world. “Right from the start of the company, IFG focused on breeding cherries for warmer climates,” says Alwyn van Jaarsveld, International Cherries Commercial Manager. “With that strategy in mind, we brought our first cherries to Africa more than ten years ago, knowing that developing new varieties takes time,” he added.

The logical place to start was South Africa, as it has a wealth of climate zones, an abundance of resources, infrastructure, and labor, as well as an entrenched fruit industry. “South Africa’s fruit industry not only supplies locally but also regionally and abroad.” While IFG’s licensed nursery is based in the Western Cape, varieties are being trialed from the Western Cape in the South to Limpopo in the North.

How the pandemic has shaped the future of global fruit production in 2022

January 06, 2022 | Pablo Gómez, International Quality Assurance Manager for Table Grapes at IFG

A fast-paced industry already familiar with navigating unpredictable conditions and forecasting market demand, the agricultural sector never slowed down, even in the worst times of the pandemic.

However, that’s not to say the journey was without any roadblocks: COVID-19 brought a wave of challenges with everything from labor to logistics. Yet, as consumer interest in fresh produce increased by more than 10 percent in 2020, fruit suppliers, scientists, horticulturists, and growers are overcoming these setbacks to usher in a new period of efficiency and innovation.

IFG sees table grape innovation sustaining consumer demand

December 28, 2020 | By CHRIS KOGER

As table grape variety innovations continue, so will consumption and the production needed to satisfy consumers’ demand for diverse and flavorful fruit.

The same innovation that’s driving changes in the apple category, with consumers leaving traditional varieties behind in favor of newer, managed varieties, is happening to a degree in the table grape industry, according to Andy Higgins, CEO of table grape breeder International Fruit Genetics (IFG), Bakersfield, Calif.

Higgins recently shared predictions for the industry for 2021 and beyond, and it’s clear that consumer preferences are changing.

We are working hard to ensure that in the future our mother plants and propagation materials are virus-free

December 21, 2021 | By Ning Fan,

In the last two weeks, Chilean cherries arrived on the Chinese market in large volumes. Although the industry is facing multiple challenges such as, a shortage of labor and packing materials, high shipping costs and a long duration for customs’ clearance, growers and traders are working hard to bring their best quality fruit into the Chinese market.

IFG is a professional cherry breeder with headquarters in the USA. At the moment, the company has over 50 cherry selections on test, including both traditional dark red types and new blush types. These varieties were selected because they are early, have very few ‘double fruits’, and they are large, firm, and full of flavor.

Peru’s Agricola Andrea S.A.C. wins IFG’s Inaugural D.W. Cain Award

December 16, 2021 | By INDUSTRY PRESS RELEASE

Bakersfield, Calif.-based International Fruit Genetics LLC has selected Agricola Andrea S.A.C. in Peru as the winner for its inaugural D.W. Cain Award competition, with Exportadora Rio Blanco Spa in Chile selected as the runner-up.

In recognition of the legacy of Dr. David Cain, IFG created the D.W. Cain Award to honor his years of dedication and revolutionary breeding developments that have changed the industry. This year will be the first award to be granted and will be subsequently awarded on an annual basis with each year having a different theme and criteria for recognition.

We've shipped 1.5 million boxes of Sweet Globe™ to China so far

December 10, 2021 | By Ning Fan,

This season’s Peruvian table grape harvest kicked off at the end of October. The peak period of the Peruvian table grapes harvest is expected to begin in early December and will continue until March or April. The arriving table grapes received great reactions in Guangzhou Jiangnan markets and the price is stable.

IFG is a premium fruit-breeding company with more than 45 table grape varieties. Every year IFG’s licensed growers in Peru export more than two million boxes of IFG™ table grapes varieties to China and increasing.

IFG screens heat tolerant varieties

November 15, 2021 | Eurofresh Distribution

Lead plant breeder at IFG Dr Chris Owens shares his view on how changing climates are affecting global fruit production.

Climate change has been affecting many different regions around the globe for decades, and the shift in weather is impacting fruit production. Areas that are being impacted most severely have historically seen significant effects from climate change. However, there are other areas also being affected, such as the North-Western United States and Western Canada with this year’s unprecedented heat. There have also been severe wildfires in many regions, threatening entire fields of crops.

The regions facing the most issues right now are those that are already battling heat and drought. Some areas in Europe have begun moving wine grape vineyards further north or to a higher elevation, adjusting to the planet’s changing climate. Table grapes themselves are more heat tolerant, and IFG’s breeding program has used the most recent heatwave to screen our varieties for heat tolerance. However, there is still a maximum amount of heat that fruit can tolerate, and as climate change continues to alter the environment, it will affect global agriculture and food production.

IFG licensee creates new Sweet Globe™ grape ice cream

November 14, 2021 | By INDUSTRY PRESS RELEASE

International Fruit Genetics LLC (IFG) boasts a total of 47 patented table grape varieties, with the IFG™ Sweet Globe™ grape being the most grown grape variety globally, boasting a very aromatic taste, firm texture and excellent storage.

IFG’s licensed grower in Greece, GREEK GRAPE COMPANY - the largest producer in Greece of IFG™ Sugar Crisp™, IFG™ Sweet Globe™, IFG™ Jack Salute™, and IFG™ Sweet Celebration™ grapes - discovered a new use for this spectacular table grape variety: ice cream!

In partnership with EPIK Natural Greek Gelato, a boutique gelato parlor in the heart of Athens, GREEK GRAPE COMPANY created a natural sorbet that became EPIK’s sensation for the summer. EPIK works only with the best Greek grape growers, using natural ingredients and sourcing sustainable, high-tasting materials to turn them into natural, high-end gelato with no additives.

La fórmula que permitió a Chile romper su récord de la cereza más temprana

November 8, 2021

El 20 de octubre se inició en Ovalle la cosecha de la cereza más precoz del país. Se presume que, quienes recogieron fruta ese día correrán solos en los mercados internacionales hasta el 10 de noviembre. Al cierre de esta edición ya había llegado el primer despacho aéreo a China, con precios en destino un 16% superiores a 2020. Brooks es la variedad más producida hoy en esa zona, aunque desde hace unos años se han introducido otras, de programas de mejoramiento de Italia y EE UU.

Protecting decades of research

Plant breeders rights are an essential tool for safeguarding intellectual property, including cherry varieties subject to extensive development.

October 30, 2021 | By Jeff Long

Intellectual property (IP) is usually associated with software or other inventions protected by patents and copyrights. IP rights also extend to agriculture, where decades of costly research and development by plant breeders are protected from piracy by international law.

Known as plant breeder rights – or PBRs – these protections grant exclusive control over propagated material such as seeds, plant cuttings and tissue culture for a period of time.

With these rights, breeders can choose to license their new varietals to outside agencies or market them directly. Here’s an introduction to two of the leading North American-based breeders of sweet cherries.

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