Santa Paula, Calif.-based Calavo Growers Inc. is expanding the availability of its Ripe Now avocados by joining forces with The Horton Co., Louisville, Ky.

Calavo opens mid-South shipping center

“We have been working with The Horton Co. for some time, but the agreement makes it official,” said Rob Wedin, vice president of fresh sales and marketing.

The Louisville facility will distribute all Calavo products, Wedin said, and will widen the availability of the company’s value-added lines including Ripe Now avocados which have received the verified internal pressure, or ProRipe VIP, treatment. The fruit will receive the VIP treatment at the company’s Texas operation and will be shipped to The Horton Co. within hours, he said.

Calavo opens mid-South shipping center

“Louisville puts us in a position to distribute fresh, ripe avocados to the South and the Southeast where recent growth has been tremendous,” Wedin said. “Horton will do some fine tuning in their ripening rooms.”

The Dallas-to-Louisville shipments will be up to five days a week, will guarantee maintenance of the cold chain and help some buyers who are just learning the demand structure, he said.

The timing is convenient because July is when California avocados tend to get better size, Wedin said.

In addition to the Ripe Now fruit, The Horton Co. also will handle bagged, unripe and organic avocados, Calavo guacamole and the Fresh Calavo Salsa Lisa. 

Both Calavo and Horton will sell the products, but brand marketing remains in Santa Paula, Wedin said.