Sun World International has announced the grand opening of its Center for Innovation, a new fruit breeding and genetics facility located in Wasco, California.
The company's previous breeding work was conducted at its longstanding and nearby Variety Development Center.
According to Sun World, it began planning and designing the new facility two years ago and broke ground on it in August 2019.
The Center for Innovation sits on a 160-acre campus, includes a 17,000ft2 building and houses an expansive experimental research farm, laboratories for molecular breeding, embryo rescue, seedling transfers and postharvest assessment, as well as grow rooms, greenhouses and fruit tasting facilities for new grape and stonefruit varieties.
The Innovation Center is dedicated to the memory of Sun World founder Howard Marguleas, an agriculture industry luminary who had a "profound impact" on the American fresh produce industry.
“My father’s notable passion for introducing consumers to unique and flavourful new fruit and vegetables was legendary," said Sun World CEO David Marguleas. "As such, we thought it was particularly fitting to dedicate this extraordinary new facility in his memory.
“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," explained vice-president of variety development Terry Bacon. "This facility will house much more than the table grape and stonefruit breeding programmes we currently operate. We have bold plans to expand into developing other crops that delight consumers.”