Gerawan Farming Inc., Fresno, Calif., and Wawona Packing Co., LLC, Cutler, Calif., merged to create a stone fruit processing company.

Gerawan produces stone fruit in best-in-class farming, packing practices and proprietary varieties marketed under the Prima brand. Wawona supplies high-quality stone fruit. The merger builds upon the legacies and reputations of the two companies, and creates an enhanced platform for growth and innovation to better serve customers and create significant opportunities for employees.

The combined company will be led by Dan Gerawan, chief executive officer. Brent Smittcamp, current executive chairman of Wawona, will continue to be highly involved with the combined company. The management team will be comprised of leaders from both companies.

"At Gerawan, innovating on a large scale to grow, pack and ship the world's best fruit has been key to our success, and those efforts have always hinged on investing in our employees. These same values underpin Wawona's success. This merger is an exciting next step to unlock the full potential of both companies," says Gerawan. 

"Over the last several years, we have focused on accelerating Wawona's growth by building on the inherent strengths of our business and management team. Our acquisition last year of Burchell Nursery Inc. was one example, and now this historic merger with Gerawan takes it to yet another level. We are eager to bring the benefits of this merger to our employees, suppliers and customers," adds Smittcamp.