Aug 13, 2019
Sun World International names CEO; expands fruit breeding, licensing

David Marguleas has been named CEO of Sun World International LLC (Sun World), board chair Lloys Frates announced today.  Marguleas most recently served as Sun World’s executive vice president and managed the firm’s breeding, technology and licensing business, Sun World Innovations. Following the recent sale of its farms, Sun World will be the breeding and licensing company’s new name.

David Marguleas

“David’s experience is tailor-made for this business going forward,” said Frates, a principal with Renewable Resources Group (RRG), the investment firm that acquired Sun World in 2013.  “He built a premier global breeding and licensing operation from scratch and knows produce and IP licensing inside and out.  We’re fortunate to have David lead Sun World during a period of accelerated growth.”

Sun World currently operates an important fruit breeding program that produces new table grapes and stone fruit for more than 1,500 growers in 14 countries. The California-based company will leverage its breeding and licensing expertise into other fruit crops.

“Today’s consumer seeks a richer eating experience and Sun World has long been at the forefront of bringing more flavorful produce to market,” Marguleas said. “The ‘new” Sun World remains committed to bringing improved grape and stonefruit varieties to growers in most of the world’s fruit producing countries. We’re now also poised to diversify into other tremendously economically important fruit crops – through organic growth, acquisitions or both — and to expand our IP and genetics’ footprint,” he added.

Merrill Dibble, the CEO of Sun World until the recent sale of its farming assets, is coordinating the smooth transition of those operations and will serve as head of RRG’s agricultural operations.

To help direct the new Sun World growth strategy, Jeff Jackson joins Sun World as Executive Vice President/Business Development.  Jackson is an accomplished produce industry executive with deep farming, supply chain, sales and marketing experience.  He has served in senior management roles at Chiquita, Moraitis, Earthbound Farms and Tanimura & Antle.  Jackson joins Marguleas and Executive Vice President & CFO Keith Mitchell, who directs all finance and administrative functions, as a key member of Sun World’s senior management team.

Sun World International operates one of the world’s leading fruit breeding and genetics programs and manages a broad portfolio of plant patents and trademarks.  Sun World has a global network of licensed partner growers and maintains offices in California, Italy, Australia, Chile, Israel, and South Africa.

Renewable Resources Group is an asset management firm specializing in land management, agriculture, water, conservation and renewable energy.  They are privately held and headquartered in Los Angeles.

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