Sun World names new VP of grower support services
Sun World International LLC has appointed Michele Melillo to the new position of vice president of grower support services. Melillo recently managed the company’s agronomic support activities. In his new leadership position, he will oversee all technical assistance and applied research programs and staff, assist with variety evaluation and management of the company’s global test site. Sun World’s grower support services team supports its network of 1,800-plus growers in 15 countries growing Sun World’s table grape and stone fruit varieties.
“It’s a pleasure to announce Michele’s promotion,” said Jeffrey Jackson, Sun World’s executive vice president. “This decision is an important move for our company as we bolster the agronomic support we provide to licensed growers and further improve the performance of our varieties globally.”
Melillo has been a passionate viticulturist since 2004 and is especially committed to sustainability and improving cultural practices with extensive viticultural experience in Europe, Australia, North and South America. He is eminently prepared for his expanded role with a bachelor's degree in agronomy at the University of Bari, Italy and an master's degree in horticulture and agronomy at the University of California-Davis.
“We consider providing support to licensed growers as vital to our global programs; for the consumer to buy exceptional table grapes and stone fruits, the variety must have great genetics and must be successfully grown," said Melillo. "If we don’t get the farming part right, it’s a tough track for our fruit to travel down the rest of the supply chain. It is this importance we place on making sure our growers are informed and equipped with the best research and assistance, which for the last two years have spurred the company to invest in building our agronomic talent in leading grape-growing countries.”
Key Sun World varieties are marketed under various 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.