Yakima, WA USA  In recent years, changes to consumer preferences have led to significant declines in the demand for commodity-type fruits. The downward spiral of the returns for the old-school varieties has reached a point where, in many cases, they do not begin to cover the cost to grow them. Remaining static is not an option for a grower to remain viable, but the decision to make changes and what to plant does not come without a great deal of consideration and study.

Recently, Brandt’s Fruit Trees was licensed to become the U.S. propagation manager for the Inored cv., marketed as the Story apple. “We are budding Inored cv. onto rootstock in 2020 in preparation for the first tree plantings in the United States to take place in 2022,” said Kevin Brandt, vice president of Brandt’s Fruit Trees. “We are happy to answer questions about Story, Inored cv. or take pre-orders now.”

Next on the horizon are some exciting new releases in the stone fruit category, which will be made available to growers in the United States in the very near future.

In an effort to help its growers make the decision of what to plant, Brandt’s Fruit Trees has spent years networking and building relationships with some of the most prolific breeding programs not only in the United States but also around the world, as it continually seeks out new and interesting cultivars for their growers to choose from.

For more than 30 years, Brandt’s Fruit Trees has served as the U.S. representative for products released by the breeding programs at INRAE, CEP INNOVATION and NOVADI. The French institute INRAE is the world’s top institute for research on agriculture, food and the environment. INRAE utilizes a staff that encompasses 11,500 researchers, engineers, and technicians, across 14 scientific divisions, 268 research units and nearly 25,000 acres of experimental land. Their over-arching goal is to promote sustainable development in the emphasis areas of agriculture, food, and the environment. They have completed extensive work in the development of pest and disease-resistant varieties as well as advancement of rootstocks that show resistance to drought, winter kill and replantation help to support the tree fruit industry with globally relevant discoveries.

INRAE is engaged in joint breeding partnerships with NOVADI and CEP InnoVation, two companies owned by several of the leading tree-fruit nursery companies in France. CEP InnoVation and NOVADI collaborate with the research teams during the selection process, then, CEP InnoVation and NOVADI manage the development, commercialization and implementation of a marketing strategy for each new rootstock and variety.

As seen in the July 8, 2020 e-edition of  The Produce News