Wawona Packing Makes Play to Boost Stone Fruit Portfolio
Wawona Packing Co., based in Cutler, CA, has acquired the stone fruit breeding assets of longtime Central California tree fruit and tree nut propagator Burchell Nursery Inc. The package deal includes more than 60 patented varieties of high-quality stone fruit trees and their associated genetics.
With a 75-plus-year history, Burchell serves more than 7,000 growers globally and has a legacy of breeding best-in-class varieties of stone fruit for more than 30 years.
Burchell’s breeding team will join Wawona as full-time employees. According to Wawona, the long-term focus will build upon the Burchell legacy in bringing the highest quality tree fruit to market.
As part of the transaction, Wawona has acquired the exclusive right to propagate the ‘Summer Flame 26,’ ‘Summer Flame 29,’ ‘Summer Flame 34,’ and ‘August Flame’ peach varieties, as well as the right to use Cornerstone rootstock in stone fruit in the U.S.
Burchell will retain its tree nut germplasm and varieties, including its signature Shasta almond and will continue to offer existing stone fruit varieties to the market through a licensing agreement.