Chelan Fresh to merge with Borton Fruit

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Matthew Jones

BY MATTHEW JONES

@matt_fruitnet

Chelan Fresh to merge with Borton Fruit

New venture between leading US suppliers will have the capacity to support “any size programme” year-round

Chelan Fresh to merge with Borton Fruit

The third and fourth generations of Bortons operate the family farm. (L-R) Eric Borton, Andy Birley, Bill Borton, Byron Borton and John Borton.

 

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Chelan Fresh has boosted its sales and marketing portfolio through a merger with follow Washington State-based fruit supplier Borton Fruit.

The venture will officially begin on 1 September, with the combined marketing company to retain the Chelan Fresh name and operate from both Chelan and Yakima.

“The addition of Borton Fruit brings an immediate 47 per cent volume expansion to Chelan Fresh’s sales and marketing portfolio,” the companies said in a joint release.

Chelan Fresh supplies apples, cherries and pears to domestic and international customers. Borton Fruit grows and markets organic offerings, early-season cherries, and new proprietary apple varieties, among other products.

Together, the group has recently invested more than US$235m in state-of-the-art packing facilities and technologies, new storage facilities, and production efficiencies. These investments are complimented by more than 13,000 acres planted in young, high-density orchards.

“Customers want a one-stop-buying experience and shoppers want a wide selection of high quality apples, pears and cherries all year long,” said Tom Riggan, chief executive of Chelan Fresh. “With the increase in volume and varieties, we can support any size programme twelve months out of the year.”

Chelan Fresh will market the majority of the additional fruit under its Trout label, which has long been associated with apples, pears and cherries. It also markets the Cascade Crest Organic and Chelan Fresh brands.

The merger will see the group become an industry leading producer of Honeycrisp apples, with Bill Borton, president of Borton Fruit, saying his company is excited to partner with another firm interested in cutting-edge varieties.

“With farms in different growing regions throughout the Pacific Northwest, the group can supply customers with great fruit from the very front-end of harvest through the end of the year,” Borton said.

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