Creating the Ultimate Prune

Perfect Growing Conditions

California’s 900 prune plum growers and 29 prune packers have invested over 150 years in perfecting the growing and harvesting techniques required to deliver the ultimate premium crop recognised throughout the world for its legendary flavour and quality.
California Prunes start their life as plums grown on ‘Petite d’Agen’ trees, which flourish on the rich soil found in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys of California. This fertile soil, combined with the long warm growing season and abundant supply of water to irrigate the trees, provides the optimum conditions to produce a luscious juicy plum crop that is left to ripen naturally in the Californian sunshine.

Farming Expertise

The expertise honed from generation to generation enables our farmers to grow the very best plums, renowned the world over for their succulent superior flavour, fine smooth texture and small pits (stones). Not many fruits are allowed to ripen fully on the tree so it takes real skill and sound judgment to know precisely when the plums have reached their peak, with just the desired firmness and the correct level of natural sugar content indicating that they are ready to be harvested.

Advanced Harvesting Techniques

The exceptional quality of our crop is not just associated with California’s superb growing conditions and unrivalled farming heritage. Years and years of experience have led to California leading the way in terms of sophisticated state of the art harvesting techniques, which ensure the perfect plums are transformed into premium prunes. Rather than risk damaging the fruit by letting it fall onto the orchard floor, each tree is shaken mechanically at precisely the right time, allowing the plums to be gathered up within a matter of seconds and whisked off for washing before being mechanically loaded onto trays, stacked, and moved into drying tunnels. Fruit is usually dried in 18 to 22 hours.
Vigilant monitoring of the crop is essential as our farmers are committed to maintaining the reputation for excellence synonymous with California’s designer prunes. Their supreme depth of knowledge, advanced techniques and extensive experience allows for California’s entire prune orchard to be harvested in just 30 days.