A Legacy of Innovation
In the mid-1970s, two old friends and longstanding scions of the produce industry – Howard Marguleas and Carl Sam Maggio – sensed that consumers were yearning for better tasting fruit and vegetables and that the retail supermarkets who supplied them were ready for a new type of supplier that could provide them with a wide and extensive assortment of branded fresh produce. The two produce pioneers conceived of a new type of produce business – named it “Sun World” – and in January 1976 launched their fledgling company in Coachella, California as a diversified grower-packer and marketer of more than 200 fruits and vegetables. It grew to become one of the country’s largest privately-held produce companies offering customers everything from avocados to zucchini and distinguishing itself as the country’s premier source of distinctive, new and often proprietary produce items.
Beginning in the 1980s, the Company sought out new produce items and in December 1989 it acquired Superior Farming Co., a vertically integrated central California breeder-producer-marketer with a substantial production footprint and one of the world’s only private fruit breeding programs. Before and after integrating Superior Farming Co. into its operations, Sun World introduced a steady stream of innovative products that now seem commonplace, including seedless watermelons, chopped lettuce, colored sweet peppers, vine-ripened tomatoes, new sweet and seedless grapes as well as more flavorful plums, peaches, apricots, mangoes and citrus.
Throughout the 1990s, presaging its future as a breeding & licensing business, Sun World started investing even more significantly in its own fruit breeding efforts and in the early 2000s it began licensing new varieties and Intellectual Property to like-minded growers and marketers outside of the United States – establishing customers and offices initially in Australia, followed by South Africa, Europe and Chile. The breeding and licensing activities helped to further define and distinguish Sun World as a produce industry innovator and, while Sun World no longer grows and markets fruit and vegetables after the sale of its vineyards in May 2019, it remains a reliable fount of new produce innovations for nearly 2,000 licensed growers who produce Sun World-bred fruit varieties year-round in most of the world’s major growing regions.
Sun World Today
Sun World is now a leading global business focused on fruit breeding, research, licensing and technology, and underscoring its commitment to bring growers, retailers and consumers extraordinary new proprietary fruit varieties. A passion to innovate led the Company to be the first to develop and license proprietary grape varieties on a global scale and its breeders continue to carefully develop new fruit varieties to ensure they are appreciated worldwide. A professional team of accomplished breeders, agronomists, licensing managers and marketers support the Company’s licensees.
“Sun World’s passion to innovate indeed remains part of its DNA, and this passion has been integral to its vision and business philosophy for more than 40 years.”
Sun World maintains offices in Europe, Australia, South America, Israel, South Africa.
Variety Development Center | Breeding Program | Commercial Testing
Sun World Headquarters | Technology | Commercial Testing Early/Low Chill Varieties