Twelve leading fruit marketers from five continents are joining forces to perfect red-flesh apples and bring the exciting new varieties to market within five years.
The marketers came together near Angers, France, in October to create IFORED, an international consortium that will test, select and commercialize red-flesh apple varieties.
IFORED will immediately begin developing a promising set of varieties created during the past 20 years by International Fruit Obtention (IFO), an innovative company dedicated to developing new apple varieties.
“We see tremendous potential for red-flesh apples,” say Bruno Essner, President of the IFORED Board of Directors. “We have put together a marvelous group of experienced growers and marketers from across the world to harness this potential and to bring distinct apples varieties to market.”
The new organization creates a powerful new entity in the global apple industry. Together, IFORED partners own or control 40,000 hectares of apple orchards. They produce 2 million metric tons of apples per year and market about 2.5 million metric tons of apples annually.
“IFORED is truly global in scope,” Essner said. “The IFORED partners will bring together deep experience and remarkable market reach as we introduce these exciting red-flesh varieties to consumers across the world.”
IFORED marketers are getting trees ready for planting and will begin commercial production in the next few years. These third- and fourth-generation selections have been specially bred for reduced astringency, larger size, increased sugar content, more uniform appearance and improved internal quality, storage and shelf-life.
“We’re confident that IFORED will deliver red-flesh apple varieties that are commercially viable, unique and attractive to consumers in markets around the world,” Essner said.
The red-flesh varieties are being developed using natural horticultural techniques. The varieties under development include apples with about 30% pink flesh to those with full and intense red coloration. Skin colors include red, orange, yellow and bi-colored.
Flavors in the varieties being tested range from dominantly sweet to tangy. Harvest times range from before Gala through Cripps Pink.
The 13 IFORED Partners
Australia: Montague, Australia
South America: Mono Azul, Argentina; Unifrutti, Chile
South Africa: Dutoit, South Africa
Europe: AMG (Gerfruit and Mesfruit), France; Blue Whale, France; Empire World Trade, United Kingdom; Fenaco, Switzerland; IFO, Representing the intellectual property holder, France; NovaMela (VOG, VIP, Melinda, La Trentina and Rivoira ), Italy; Nufri, Spain; Worldwide Fruit, United Kingdom
Canada and United States: Next Big Thing, United States and Canada