EFC and its subsidiary GKE have announced the merger of the two businesses, with EFC chief executive Ilse Hayen heading up the new organisation.
“As a leading variety management company, our mission is to create added value for all the parties in the fruit supply chain,” said Hayen. “We achieve this by continuously searching for and developing exceptional, unique varieties, and building highly successful global brands, for which growers can acquire a license to grow.
"Traditionally EFC focused on the first part of the chain by optimising tree management and perfecting cultivation and GKE managed the brands," she continued. "In practice EFC and GKE always operated as one team. This merger enables us to combine our growing and marketing strengths, in order to access and develop viable, successful varieties.”
EFC currently manages a portfolio of three apple and pear varieties, each of which has a secured recognised position in the international market.
The company has been the variety manager and holder of the exclusive global rights for Kanzi and Greenstar since 2004, and the Migo pear since 2014.
“Working closely with a strong network of licensing partners around the world, we have successfully positioned our Kanzi, Greenstar and Migo brands internationally as top-quality apples and pears," Hayen noted.
The success of EFC brands was evident, the company continued, from the fact that last season, demand for Kanzi exceeded production. Hayen said EFC was keen to increase production by planting more trees.
“Kanzi is, in fact, the number two apple brand in the world,” she pointed out. “And despite a declining market for pears, our Migo pear continues to thrive.”
EFC said that its technical experts would continue to search for and develop new varieties, for which its commercial colleagues would then create strong, high-performing brands – indeed, Hayen hinted that a new apple variety was in the pipeline.