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Nearly all of Prima Wawona’s tree fruit acreage sells

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As the Prima Wawona BB #:165373 Cutler, CA, liquidation proceeds, two well-known California grower-shippers have partnered to buy 5,000 acres.

Sun Pacific Marketing Cooperative, Inc. BB #:122874 of Pasadena, CA, and Moonlight Packing Corporation BB #:163728 of Reedley, CA, paid $91 million for the land, according to court documents.

Russ Tavlan, owner of Moonlight, told the Fresno Bee that he and Berne Evans, owner of Sun Pacific, were honored to buy a large share of property from legacy farming families.

“We have admired them, and they have been industry leaders for two generations,” Tavlan said. “They were both best in class, and I am excited to have those two legendary farming companies woven into the fabric of Moonlight and Sun Pacific.”

Tavlan told the Bee the vast majority of the acreage would remain tree fruit.

Tavlan and Evans declined to elaborate further when reached by Blue Book Services.

Moonlight is a grower-shipper of tree fruit, grapes, kiwifruit, and citrus. Sun Pacific is well known for its Cuties brand easy-peel citrus and also ships kiwi, grapes and other citrus.

According to court documents, there were other buyers of Prima Wawona land (more than $1 million):

  • Neil Zwart, $4,692,000
  • Mike Penner, $1,166,700
  • Michael Amin, $40,000,000
  • McClarty Farms, $2,578,495
  • Gonzalez Ranches, $1,952,100
  • Kirschenman Enterprise Sales LP & Jacob Rodgers, $1,155,000
  • Brett Britz, $28,859,630

According to the Bee, only 1,300 of the 13,000 acres available for sale after the bankruptcy remain unsold.

The Bee also ran details of prospective buyers and the farmland for sale in an early March article.

Editor’s note:

We received the following statement from Wawona Frozen Foods BB #:195082: The San Joaquin Valley-based, family-owned and operated Wawona Frozen Foods is not affiliated in any way with the fresh fruit company, Prima Wawona. Wawona Frozen Foods is a third-generation company which just celebrated its 60th year in business and is among the largest frozen fruit companies in the nation.


Greg Johnson is Vice President of Media for Blue Book Services