Valley almond grower declares bankruptcy

Thousands of acres of land will be put up for sale in California.

Just months after Prima Wawona, the nation’s largest peach producer, declared bankruptcy, another major farming operation filed for bankruptcy this week. 

Trinitas Farming LLC, an almond grower in the Central Valley, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday and declared around $188 million in debt. 


The backstory: Investment firm Paine Schwartz bought Wawona Packing and Gerawan Farming to create Prima Wawona, but the farming operation lost nearly all of its value in just a matter of years. 

  • Trinitas Farming is operated by private equity firm Trinitas Partners, based out of Redwood City. Trinitas Partners began acquiring almond ranches throughout the Central Valley in 2015 and now operates 17 ranches over nearly 8,000 acres. 

The big picture: Trinitas Farming said in its bankruptcy filing that it could not keep up with high borrowing costs and low almond prices, leading to the operation running out of cash. 

  • The company blamed oversupply and difficulty with exporting, putting the average price of almonds at $1.74 per pound. 
  • Trinitas Farming also said its investment strategy to have younger orchards led to lower production that did not produce enough revenue to keep operations running. 

Bankruptcy debts: Along with Trinitas Farming, its debtor corporations also filing for bankruptcy include Dinuba Ranch, LLC; Porterville, LLV; Tule River Ranch, LLC; Adobe Ranch, LLC; and Jeffrey Ranch LLC. 

  • Rabo Ag extended a $130 million loan to Trinitas Farming in November 2022, which has not been repaid. That also includes $31 million delayed draw loans. 
  • Overall, there is $26.6 million in debt owed to 20 unsecured creditors. 
  • The largest unsecured creditor is Madera operation The Almond Co. at $9.2 million. 
  • There is also a $4.9 million debt claim from The Harvesting Group in Fresno. 
  • Trinitas Farming is seeking a $30 million loan in bankruptcy court. 

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.  

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