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Co-founders sue each other over future of local table grape breeder

20210421-bc-grapebreeder

Grape grower Jack Pandol speaks in April 2021 at a groundbreaking ceremony International Fruit Genetics LLC hosted in celebration of a160-acre facility in McFarland with a lab, greenhouses, business support and a lot of arable land. IFG is the company behind Cotton Candy grapes. Pandol's company Grapery is Cotton Candy's exclusive grower and marketer.

An escalating legal battle among co-founders of a Bakersfield table-grape breeding company could have lasting implications for growers of Kern County's top crop.

International Fruit Genetics LLC filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing co-founder Jack Pandol and his company, Shafter-based Grapery, of appropriating trade secrets to plan a competing operation with an unfair market advantage.