Wawona acquires stone fruit breeding operations of Burchell Nursery

Wawona Packing Company, LLC ("Wawona" or the "Company"), today announced it has acquired the stone fruit breeding assets of Burchell Nursery Inc. ("Burchell"), a leading breeder and nursery of tree fruit and tree nuts in the United States. Under the terms of the agreement, Wawona will acquire Burchell’s stone fruit breeding program, which includes more than 60 patented varieties of high-quality stone fruit trees and their associated genetics.

With a 75-plus year history, Burchell is one of the leading tree fruit and tree nut nurseries in central California, servicing over 7,000 growers globally with high-quality trees. Burchell has a legacy in breeding best-in-class varieties of stone fruit for more than 30 years. Burchell’s trademarked series of peaches and nectarines, Flame® and Flare®, respectively, are well-recognized in the industry for their flavor profile and consistent quality across multiple commodities throughout the season.

Burchell’s breeding team will join Wawona as full-time employees, providing continuity in the testing of varieties that are currently in development. This 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, 29, 34 and August Flame® varieties, as well as the right to use Cornerstone rootstock in stone fruit in the United States. Burchell will retain its tree nut germplasm and varieties, including its signature Shasta® almond.

Will Feliz (pictured right), Chief Executive Officer of Wawona, said, "We are excited about adding Burchell’s breeding team to Wawona and will work closely with them as we invest in the business to build an industry-leading breeding program. This acquisition enhances Wawona’s vertical integration, continues our commitment to innovation, and will enhance our ability to bring the highest quality tree fruit to our retail customers."

Feliz continued, "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."

Tom Burchell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Burchell, said, "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. Our nursery will continue to focus on creating the most vigorous, healthy trees possible and offer our diversified pipeline of tree nut varieties, including Shasta® almonds. Looking ahead, we will continue to be driven by our passion for science and developing the best trees and best results for our customers."

Karen Nardozza
Tel: (+1) 831-222-3935

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