California Avocado business briefs

03/14/2012 04:44:00 PM
Tom Burfield

The goal of the program is to increase avocado consumption by examining the composition of avocados and their potential health effects and communicating that information to consumers, Escobedo said.

He expects the studies, which will be financed by HAB assessments over several years, to have an effect in the U.S. and around the world by confirming that “avocados are a superfood.”

Index Fresh announces three new employees

Index Fresh Inc., Bloomington, Calif., has hired Brian Gomez as a salesman, said Dana Thomas, president.

Gomez has five years of avocado sales experience, most recently with West Pak Avocado, Temecula, Calif..

Ty “TJ” Salinas also has joined the company as a field man and will work with growers in the southern region. Salinas most recently was with Fallbrook Fertilizer, Feed and Farm Supply, Fallbrook, Calif.

Finally, Nnaemeka Ike, a graduate of University of California, Riverside, with a bachelor’s of science degree in environmental science, has joined the company as food safety coordinator. He will help growers achieve good agricultural practices certification.

Index Fresh ships conventional avocados under the AvoTerra brand and organic fruit under the AvoLoma brand.

West Pak turns 30, upgrades cartons

This is a milestone year for West Pak Avocado Inc., Temecula, Calif., said Doug Meyer, vice president of sales and marketing.

The company is marking its 30th anniversary.

When the company opened in 1982, hass avocados were a seasonal crop and were not distributed very far outside the West, he said. California was the only region producing hass avocados for U.S. distribution.

West Pak has implemented a traceability system that is fully integrated from its groves to its packing, ripening and distribution facilities, and the company is fully compliant with the industry’s Produce Traceability Initiative, Meyer said.

Besides adding hardware and software, the project required a redesign of the firm’s cartons to accommodate the PTI label.

“During our carton redesign process, we added strength and airflow enhancements and updated the graphics with a fresh, new look,” Meyer said.


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