Nov 30, 2020
Sun World opens new Center for Innovation

For more than three decades, Bakersfield, California-based Sun World researchers have worked diligently to develop new and more flavorful fruits and vegetables. Beginning this month, they now have an impressive new home from which to breed, assess and introduce new produce varieties.

According to a news release, Sun World International LLC recently announced the (virtual) grand opening of its Center for Innovation, a sophisticated new fruit breeding and genetics facility located in Wasco, California, just north of this central California farming community.

The Innovation Center is dedicated in memory of Sun World founder Howard P. Marguleas, Photos: Sun World

The company is best known for introducing consumers worldwide to many dozens of new produce items, including its iconic branded table grapes, plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines as well as seedless watermelon, colored peppers and vine-ripened tomatoes. Sun World’s previous breeding work was conducted at the company’s longstanding and nearby Variety Development Center.

The company began planning and designing the new facility two years ago and broke ground on it in August 2019. Its new Center for Innovation sits on a 160-acre campus, includes an ambitious 17,000-square-foot building and houses an expansive experimental research farm, laboratories for molecular breeding, embryo rescue, seedling transfers and post-harvest assessment, as well as grow rooms, greenhouses and spacious fruit tasting facilities for new grape and stone fruit varieties. It also features well-appointed offices for its area staff along with conference space and a functional outdoor event venue.

The Innovation Center is dedicated in memory of Sun World founder Howard P. Marguleas, an agriculture industry luminary who had a profound impact on the American produce industry. “My father’s notable passion for introducing consumers to unique and flavorful new fruit and vegetables was legendary. As such, we thought it was particularly fitting to dedicate this extraordinary new facility in his memory,” Sun World Chief Executive Officer David Marguleas noted. “This passion to innovate continues to shape our vision and guide our business philosophy and will enable us to bring growers, retailers and consumers an even wider array of new fruit for many decades to come,” he added

“We are intentionally thinking big, and long-term. This facility will house much more than the table grape and stone fruit breeding programs we currently operate. We have bold plans to expand into developing other crops that delight consumers,” VP of Variety Development Terry Bacon said.

Sun World International LLC is a global variety development and licensing business. Sun World’s mission is to drive the growth of fruit breeding, varietal development, licensing and agricultural technologies. The California-based company has a network of licensed growers and marketers and maintains offices in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America, Israel, North Africa, and South Africa. More information about Sun World International is available at

Current Issue

Lewis Taylor Farms counters rising labor costs

Avoid spreading tomato disease when transplanting

Georgia produce group celebrates award winners at highly attended show

In the muck and weeds: Michigan veg experts honored

Farm market bus tour shows what works, what doesn’t

Storytelling can end commodity farming

Tips for strawberry growers take center stage

Take time to assess your marketing strategy

Farm Bureau, John Deere agree on ‘right to repair

DiMare, voice of Florida tomato industry, dies

EPA proposes rodenticide restrictions

Duda names new president

Kitchen window view changes from farm to D.C.

see all current issue »

Be sure to check out our other specialty agriculture brands

produceprocessingsm Organic Grower