FRESNO, CA – With the summer months just ahead of us, we at ANUK are turning our attention to the long-awaited stone fruit season. Suppliers are kicking off their programs over the next couple of weeks, and I got in touch with Prima® Wawona Director of Marketing Lisa (Davis) Corrigan to get the inside scoop.
“Our season started the last week of April and wraps up by the middle of October,” she told me. “In the late season from September to October, we have some of the sweetest fruit such as the Prima® Gattie. The peak or mid-season is in the height of the summer months in mid-July. We will continue with both organic and conventional harvest for yellow peaches, white peaches, yellow nectarines, white nectarines, plums, and apricots.”
Prima® Wawona’s main facility is in Cutler, California, with 43 percent of its production taking place in the region, followed by Kerman at 37 percent and Sanger Reedley at 20 percent. George Papangellin, Director of Sales Strategy and Systems, communicated that the company is seeing good quality and size develop as the season prepares to kick off.
“We’ve had 877 hours of chilling along with early rainfall,” Mark Murai, Chief Agricultural Operations, commented regarding weather. “As growers, we are always concerned about weather at the beginning of the season, but late rain, hail, and heat are all expected and considered within our growing plan. We mitigate as best we can when Mother Nature presents her challenges. Growers are one of the most resilient and nimble people because we must react quickly to something out of our control or prediction.”
Since last season, Prima® Wawona has received the PrimusGFS Certification at all facilities and ranches. The company also added 2,100 acres of new plantings this past winter and 700 acres of aged stone fruit orchards were redeveloped. Prima® Wawona utilizes sustainable ag growing practices, with a five-acre solar farm included as part of the redevelopment project.
“Our quality and taste are still our number one priority. We are constantly improving our portfolio to provide a great eating experience; our in-house breeding program focuses on creating new varieties that improve flavor consistency and appearance. R&D focuses on flavor, with all other attributes a close second,” Lisa told me on a final note.
All of Prima® Wawona’s fruit is harvested into small totes or buckets, which allows full on-tree ripening. Outside of the orchards, the supplier’s marketing materials have strategically placed QR codes, and the company has introduced a Partner Portal on its website, increased social media presence, and continues to increase its capabilities to add value resources for its partners.
There are a ton of advantages coming down the pike this stone fruit season, and Prima® Wawona is primed and ready to delight its partners and wow its consumers.
Family Farming Legacies bringing together over a century and a half of expertise and passion from two of the stone fruit industry’s leading family farms, Prima Wawona is committed to advancing strong retail partnerships and supporting the success of our supply chain partners, workforce and communities.
For more information, visit www.prima.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram
Lisa (Davis) Corrigan
Director of Marketing