One of the nation’s largest stone fruit producers has filed for bankruptcy.
Prima Wawona of Cutler, California, announced in October it would voluntarily enter court-supervised Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows a company to continue operating while reorganizing its debts.
Per an agreement with lenders, company officials aim to either convert lender debt into equity ownership or sell to a third party during the Chapter 11 auction process, the company said in a news release.
In the release, company CEO John Boken blamed increased costs and weather for the financial trouble, in spite of a large harvest and record acreage in 2023.
“The business has faced significant headwinds, including increased costs and weather-related impacts, that have combined to make our existing capital structure unsustainable,” he said in the release.
Prima Wawona farms more than 15,000 acres of stone fruit, according to its website. The company is owned by Paine Schwartz Partners, the same New York private equity firm that owns AgroFresh, the Pennyslvania company that pioneered 1-MCP.
—by Ross Courtney