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UC Riverside licenses leading South African company to market 'GEM' avocados
Date:5/13/2011

RIVERSIDE, Calif. The University of California, Riverside has signed an exclusive license agreement with Westfalia Fruit Estates, a South African company, to market 'GEM,' an avocado variety developed by UC Riverside researchers.

According to the agreement signed last month, Westfalia will be UC Riverside's primary licensee for 'GEM' around the world. Currently, in the United States, the Californiabased Brokaw Nursery has non-exclusive rights to the 'GEM' avocado.

"UC Riverside's Office of Technology Commercialization continues to seek out the best partnerships worldwide for the commercialization of citrus and other agriculture varieties developed at our campus," said Craig Sheward, assistant vice chancellor for technology commercialization at UCR. "Westfalia is a leading multinational avocado supplier and a worldwide leader in avocado research, marketing, processing, production and commercialization. It will be through the future successful efforts of Westfalia that UCR's avocado varieties will have an impact on the world-wide avocado market."

Named after the initials of researcher Grey E. Martin, who selected the variety, 'GEM' fruit are produced on a semi-compact, vase shaped tree. The fruit's skin color turns from green (when on the tree) to a dark burgundy/black when ready to eat. The tear-drop shaped fruit are borne typically interior in the tree, mostly in clusters, thus protecting the fruit from the elements. The trees also are less prone to severe "alternate bearing" (abundant fruit one year followed by few fruit the next year) than 'Hass,' currently the dominant variety in the commercial trade.

The 'GEM' variety can grow anywhere in the world where growing conditions are similar to Southern California's (San DiegoSan Luis Obispo Counties). The seasonality of 'GEM' is somewhat later than that
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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert  

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UC Riverside licenses leading South African company to market 'GEM' avocados
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