Feb 22, 2024
IFG owner Bloom Fresh appoints interim CEO

Bloom Fresh International, which owns International Fruit Genetics (IFG), has appointed an interim chief executive officer to lead what’s touted as the world’s largest fruit breeding company.

Josep Jove Estiarte, chief innovation officer, is CEO.  Kenneth Avery has stepped down as CEO following his six-month tenure which began with the 2023 acquisition of IFG by AMFRESH Group. AMFRESH merged with SNFL Group to establish the London, England, based Bloom Fresh as a consolidated breeding powerhouse, according to a news release.

Bloom Fresh logo“Avery’s dedication to Bloom and his goal to increase grape consumption worldwide has had a positive impact on the company, and those goals are now at the forefront of the company’s mission,” Bloom officials said in the release.

The consolidation makes Bloom one of the world’s leading premium fruit breeding companies. Bloom  specializes in table grapes, cherries and raisins, according to the release.

Under Estiarte’s leadership, the company will continue to lean into innovation, utilizing natural and non-GMO new breeding practices for a healthier, tastier, and sustainable future. Additionally, Estiarte will prioritize advancing BLOOM’s objective to create exceptional value for its licensed growers, marketers, and employees worldwide, according to the release.

Estiarte has been at the forefront of fruit breeding for more than 20 years. He first joined the Munoz Group in 2002 as a technologist in the table grape sector monitoring the table grape programs for UK retailers. In 2007, he was the first employee of the SNFL Group and later was appointed managing director, where he helped the company develop its breeding programs and international business expansion.

“We are delighted to have Josep at the helm of BLOOM FRESH as he has been instrumental in understanding the growers’ challenges, identifying the market’s potential and meeting consumer’s expectations, to provide the world with some of the most popular, healthy, and delicious table grapes,” Alvaro Muñoz, AMFRESH’s CEO, said in the release.

IFG logo“I am very excited to continue supporting BLOOM FRESH’s commitment to sustainable fruit breeding,” Estiarte said in the release. “The possibilities are limitless as we have a vast portfolio of varietals as well as a genetic powerhouse, setting the stage for the creation of flavorful, high-antioxidant, and nature-positive varieties. BLOOM FRESH’s commitment to innovation will continue to positively impact our licensed growers, retailers, and consumers, making the industry being more sustainable, innovative and consumer-oriented each day, through superior genetics and quality assurance for a better eating experience, amongst others. I am grateful for all the conversations with BLOOM licensees, which allows us to envision a thriving future.”

With 45 years of combined experience, Bloom is a global fruit-breeding company. It uses natural breeding techniques to develop new table grape, raisin and cherry varieties. The company’s headquarters and research facilities are located in Spain and the U.S.

Possessing more than 90 years of experience, the privately held AMFRESH Group is vertically oriented and working in more than 60 countries. Servicing top worldwide retailers, AMFRESH develops varietal innovation, agriscience and biotechnology with extensive farming and global commercialization of citrus, table grapes, fruit, tropicals and other food and floral.

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