Sun World Appoints Paola Barba as Table Grape Breeder

Bakersfield, California – Sun World International LLC has appointed Paola Barba  as Table Grape Breeder, Executive Vice President & Chief Science Officer, Jennifer Petersen announced here recently. As the new table grape breeder, Paola will be responsible for developing Sun World’s next generation of table grape varieties, utilizing the company’s strong genetics built from decades of breeding by her predecessors.

“Barba’s role as the table grape breeder at Sun World is key to the company and the industry’s success by ensuring the consistent development of new and improved table grape varieties that delight consumers and ensure the sustainability and success of growers around the world,” says Jennifer Petersen, the EVP/Chief Science Officer at Sun World.

“When you have a program as strong as ours with a breeder like Terry Bacon who is well respected in the field retiring after a long and successful career, it’s a challenge to fill those shoes. We are pleased to appoint Paola and hand her the baton to further advance the table grape breeding program. Her years of experience will add depth to our research and breeding endeavors,” Petersen adds.

Barba has a strong background in biotechnological engineering, grapevine research, and most notably, genetics and breeding. She received her B.S. in Biotechnological Engineering from the University of Chile and her Master’s and Ph.D. in Plant Breeding from Cornell University, where she focused her research on the genetics of grapevine disease resistance using new genomic approaches, under the supervision of Sun World’s collaborator, Professor Bruce Reisch. Paola recently directed a Table Grape Breeding program at the Chilean Agricultural Research Institute (INIA), where she was responsible for the release of three new table grape varieties.

“Breeders play a pivotal role in creating varieties that satisfy demand. The pressure on agriculture to be sustainable, while also feeding an ever-growing global population is intense and having outstanding genetics along with excellent management practices are key to success. We’ll continue to build upon the program’s focus to develop grower-friendly varieties and  breed for traits such as disease resistance, low inputs, and high yield and quality, while offering an exceptional eating experience. Sun World enjoys an undisputed reputation as a leading source of produce innovation and is at a pivotal place in its growth trajectory. I look forward to building on that legacy while working with our talented Sun World research team,” Petersen said.  

Sun World’s varietal development program is integral to the company and its global network of 2000+ licensed growers and marketers’ success. To date, Sun World has launched many successful varieties marketed under grape varietal brands such as AUTUMNCRISP®, MIDNIGHT BEAUTY®, SABLE SEEDLESS®, ADORA SEEDLESS®, SCARLOTTA SEEDLESS®, SOPHIA SEEDLESS®, and SUPERIOR SEEDLESS® and stone fruit varietal brands such as BLACK DIAMOND® plums, HONEYCOT® apricots and more. Sun World International is a global variety development and licensing business. Sun World’s mission is to drive the growth of fruit breeding, varietal development, and licensing. 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