Wawona Packing Co. LLC, Cutler, Calif., has acquired the stone fruit breeding assets of Burchell Nursery Inc., including more than 60 patented fruit trees and associated genetics.
The purchase enhances Wawona’s vertical integration and offerings of high-quality fruit to customers, Wawona CEO Will Feliz said in a news release.
“Importantly, we plan to maintain a close partnership with Burchell through a licensing agreement that will provide the market with continued access to the high-quality stone fruit trees that Burchell is known for,” he said in the release.
That includes trademarked peach and nectarine varieties, Flame and Flare, respectively. Wawona now has exclusive rights to propagate Summer Flame 26, 29, 24 and August Flame varieties and will use Cornerstone rootstock in stone fruit in the U.S., according to the release.
Burchell, Oakdale, Calif., services more than 7,000 growers internationally. The nursery’s breeding team will join Wawona as full-time employees, according to the release. Burchell retains its tree nut germplasm and varieties.
“Our agreement with Wawona enables us to realize the value of our stone fruit portfolio while still providing our customers with the high-quality trees and stone fruit varieties they expect from us,” Tom Burchell, president and CEO, said in the release.