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Bakersfield, California, September 23, 2022 – International fruit genetics varieties Sweet Sapphire (IFG variety name “IFG Six”; Chinese variety name “IFG六” and Chinese trademark “甜蜜蓝宝石”) and Sweet Globe (IFG variety name “IFG Ten”) are very popular worldwide and especially in China. In several instances, rogue Chinese farmers have grown unauthorized Sweet Sapphire and other IFG-branded grapes and are selling them in local markets.
Approved IFG grape varieties are only available in China through import. Consequently, IFG CEO Andy Higgins is imploring retailers in China to only sell IFG grape varieties from a trusted importer as no IFG table grape varieties are currently grown domestically:
“IFG kindly asks retailers to ensure that they do not source or sell fruit of any IFG variety that has been grown domestically, or they risk infringing on IFG’s intellectual property rights and potentially cheating Chinese consumers out of the quality they expect from IFG produce,” Higgins said.
He added that IFG is working hard to bring its strains to China for domestic cultivation.
“This is a long and challenging process; However, IFG and licensed growers will continue to offer Chinese consumers high-quality and great-tasting fruit. Growing plants of an IFG proprietary grape variety without IFG’s permission or selling fruit harvested from unauthorized plants of an IFG grape variety violates IFG’s intellectual property rights,” Higgins said. “It also cheats consumers of the quality experience that IFG offers to all consumers.”
The company has a good working relationship with the Chinese government and Higgins said he expects this partnership to continue as IFG targets infringers of its patents.
“IFG would like to thank the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for their hard work and efforts in providing a great IP protected environment for domestic and foreign new varieties,” said Higgins. “We would also like to thank them for their tremendous efforts in reviewing and processing Plant Variety Rights (PVR) applications and for their efforts in creating a great IP protected environment for both domestic and foreign new varieties.”
IFG has registered numerous Chinese trademarks for its varieties, including Sweet Sapphire and Sweet Globe. In China, IFG has also secured plant variety rights for 13 IFG varieties in May and August 2022, including Sweet Sapphire.
HOW CAN RETAILERS PROTECT THEMSELVES?
- Always make sure you trust the source of your fruit and can identify whoever is supplying your fruit. This means keeping track of all invoices.
- If you are caught selling IFG fruit varieties, you can limit or avoid legal penalties by identifying your supplier.
- Do not source or sell any domestically grown IFG grape variety until you have confirmed that IFG has licensed growers in China to produce and sell that IFG variety. Once IFG has locally licensed growers, they will have a Chinese website that can be referenced to check if the growers are eligible to produce IFG varieties.
Headquartered in Bakersfield, California, USA, IFG is the world’s largest premium fruit breeding company. Founded in 2001, the company is internationally known for its high-quality, non-GMO fruit varieties in the table grape, cherry and raisin industry, developed by the company’s co-founder and former lead plant breeder, world-renowned fruit scientist Dr. David Cain. After the retirement of Dr. Cain will now join the team from Dr. Chris Owens directed. IFG patents and licenses its varieties to global marketers and growers, with licensees in 15 countries and its fruit is actively marketed in over 30 countries. Visit www.ifg.world for more information.