Sun World International sells farming property, shifts focus to fruit breeding, licensing
This move triggers a redeployment of resources to Sun World Innovations, the company’s technology, breeding and licensing business.
Sun World International LLC, Bakersfield, Calif., announced the sale of its farming property to Vanguard International, Bellevue, Wash., which was re-named Famous Vineyards.
This move triggers a redeployment of resources to Sun World Innovations, the company’s technology, breeding and licensing business. Sun World is owned by Renewable Resources Group LLC (RRG), Los Angeles.
“We’re convinced of our team’s limitless potential to break new ground in fruit breeding and genetics,” says David Marguleas, executive vice president of Sun World and head of Sun World Innovations. “By focusing additional investment on this side of the business, we intend to accelerate growth in a meaningful way.”
The company retains its SUN WORLD brand, global fruit and intellectual property licensing business and longstanding table grape and stone fruit variety development program. All business entities will be operated as Sun World Innovations, headquartered in Palm Desert, Calif.
Included in the transaction are Sun World’s farmland in California’s San Joaquin and Coachella Valleys. The acquired land will continue to be farmed for table grapes.
“We are committed to maintaining the strong supply programs and relationships built over the years,” says Jason Fuller, vice president of sales for Famous Vineyards.
Merrill Dibble, current chief executive officer of Sun World, will stay on to work to manage a smooth transition.
“As enthusiastic as we are about advancing our breeding and licensing business, we’re mindful of Sun World’s farming heritage, and the sale of this land was a carefully considered decision,” says Dibble. “Our understanding that the new owner plans to farm the acreage was critical to us in terms of our colleagues’ continued employment. RRG has invested significantly in Sun World. They planted new vines and brought their expertise in operations and sustainability to virtually every aspect of our business. There’s every reason to feel optimistic about the future of this land and the people who’ll farm it.”