Calavo Growers expands growing operations

Santa Paula, Calif.-based Calavo Growers Inc. is getting ready to expand its growing operations in Mexico, with new groves in Jalisco, said Rob Wedin, vice president of sales and marketing.

“Mexico is going to play a bigger part. There are developments there related to Jalisco and expansion of groves there,” he said.

Wedin said the company was not yet ready to disclose details, other than to say that more than 40,000 acres of avocado production will be starting in the state, which is along Mexico’s southwestern coast, perhaps during 2015.

The company still has to wait for U.S. government approval, Wedin said.

“It’s not on the fast track, but it’s not a difficult hurdle to get over,” he said. “It’s likely we’ll see avocados coming from Jalisco in 2015.”


California Avocado Commission continues digital media program

The California Avocado Commission in Irvine will continue its online and social media program throughout the year,” said Jan DeLyser, the commission’s vice president of marketing.

The commission has some “key account programs” scheduled to run through Labor Day, DeLyser said.

“We will be meeting with our key accounts to provide information on their promotional performance and begin discussions about next year,” she said.

The commission also is planning to have “a strong presence” at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit expo Oct. 17-19 in nearby Anaheim, Calif., DeLyser said.


Chilean Avocado Importers Association gets new look

The San Carlos, Calif.-based Chilean Avocado Importers Association is working on a new look, said Karen Brux, director of CAIA and managing director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association.

It’s a “new face” for the product, she said.

“We’re developing a refreshed look for our brand, a new website, new point-of-sale items and new communication pieces to strengthen relationships with retailers, whether buyers, marketing/social media professionals or retail dietitians,” Brux said.

The changes were still under development at the end of July, but everything will be ready to go for the start of the fall season, she said.


Del Rey Avocado launches Gator Eggs

Fallbrook, Calif.-based Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc. has launched single-serving Gator Eggs, a product of Visalia, Calif.-based Shanley Farms, said Bob Lucy, partner with Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc.

Gator Eggs are six size-84 avocados packed in a carton similar to the one used to pack a half-dozen eggs.  

The product is a brainchild of Jim Shanley, first-generation owner of Shanley Farms, Lucy said.

The product is available in conventional and organic categories, Lucy said.


Giumarra increases sales

Escondido, Calif.-based Giumarra Agricom International has increased sales from bagged, ripened and organic avocados, said Gary Caloroso, marketing director.

“All three areas present great opportunities for our company and industry because consumers are demanding it,” Caloroso said.


Index Fresh celebrates anniversary

Riverside, Calif.-based avocado grower-shipper Index Fresh Inc. is celebrating its 100th anniversary in a number of ways, said Dana Thomas, president.

“We’re having a party at PMA (Fresh Summit Oct. 17-19 in Anaheim, Calif.) for our customers,” he said. “We’re doing a lot with our customers this year, but we’re also celebrating with our California growers.”

He cited, as an example, a series of “appreciation barbecues” the company hosted for growers.

Index Fresh also recently added to its sales staff, hiring Teri Morrison, a native of Colton, Calif.

Morrison, who had worked with Sunkist Growers and Mission Produce, started with Index Fresh in mid-July, Thomas said.

Morrison has a degree from Cal-Poly Pomona, Thomas said.


Oppenheimer Group promotes analyst

Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group promoted Rodrigo Lopez from category analyst to grower relations specialist in February 2014.

During the fall season, Oppy is introducing avocados featuring Sesame Street character Oscar the Grouch as part of its Eat Brighter! campaign that uses characters from the long-running children’s TV show, Lopez said.


West Pak Avocado emphasizes value-added

West Pak Avocado Inc., Marietta, Calif., is placing increased emphasis on value-added areas this year, said Doug Meyer, vice president of sales and marketing.

“We continue to expand our ripening, bagging and distribution capabilities in our facilities,” he said. “We’re continuing to scale up our entire infrastructure and sourcing to keep up with consumption growth.”