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.
The purpose of IFG Field Days is to provide growers and retailers with a deep dive into all that is new at IFG, including sampling new varieties of table grapes and helping to shape IFG’s new product development. In addition, these events also provide an open dialogue between IFG and its licensees and retailers to discuss the specific challenges and opportunities in each of the regions where IFG table grapes are grown and sold.
This year, participants were able to tour and get a sneak peek of IFG’s new Fruitworks | The IFG Discovery Center. The $14 million state-of-the-art global campus dedicated to breeding and research in McFarland, Calif., will be opening in the fall of 2023. Learn more about the new campus here.
Andy Higgins, CEO, IFG, tours licensees and retailers during IFG Field Days.
“It was such a pleasure to welcome everyone back after so many years of only being able to communicate virtually,” said Andy Higgins, CEO of IFG. “Our Field Days are an opportunity to share and benefit from the knowledge and experience each of us brings to the industry. Today there are many ways to delight consumers as natural breeding techniques have become ever more sophisticated, allowing us to introduce new varieties of table grapes into the market – raising the expectations of our consumers. As such, we are seeing shoppers eager to try new varieties, which offers great prospects for all our growers and retailers.”
“We had a great time at the IFG Field Days this year,” said Drew Ketelsen, Vice President, HMC Farms. “The most fascinating part was getting a chance to see the new Fruitworks facility. I’m especially excited about the work that IFG is doing with grafting table grape varieties onto different rootstocks as it will provide us with even more information when we are evaluating which ones best fit our portfolio. IFG is a highly professional and innovative company, which shows in their varietal selections and R&D facilities.”