Board reaches out via Web, Fig Fest

The California Fig Advisory Board and the California Fresh Fig Growers Association plan to build on the success of 2011’s Year of the Fig marketing campaign.

The groups provide integrated fresh and dried fig marketing programs by providing point-of-sale materials for retail locations and making connections with chefs in restaurant and hospitality industries, according to Karla Stockli, chief executive officer.

Efforts include an expanded Web and social media presence, including collaborations with food bloggers, as well as the annual Fig Fest, planned again in the heart of California fig country to help expose consumers to the taste and nutritional aspects of California figs.

In addition, Stockli reports that figs were named a top trend at this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show taking place in January in San Francisco.

Institute focuses on research projects

The California Fig Institute is working with the University of California-Davis and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers on three major projects for the fig industry, according to Karla Stockli, chief executive officer.

“The California Fig Institute conducts grower research for the California Fig Industry,” Stockli said.

The first, a long-term project to evaluate new fig culitvars for both fresh and dried markets, is expected to produce results in three to five years.

The groups are also working to develop a flavor code system for the California fresh and dried fig industry after a study that was completed in 2011.

Water stress and nutrition studies are also in progress to help reduce fruit split in figs.