Mission Produce logo ( File photo )

Mission Produce Inc., Oxnard, Calif., has hired Mike Browne as chief operating officer, according to a news release.

Browne has more than 35 years of experience in the avocado industry, most recently as vice president of fresh operations at Santa Paula, Calif.-based Calavo Growers Inc.

He was president and CEO of Index Fresh, vice president of Green Stripe’s North American export marketing division, and he co-founded Fresh Directions International in 1997.

The company also is expanding its global avocado network with a partnership to market South African fruit to European and Asian markets, including China, according to a news release.

Mission Produce is partnering with Core Fruit, a South African exporter, and ZZ2, a South African farming enterprise and fresh produce company, to “offer its production, packing and ecosystem creation know-how together with its avocado technical knowledge, resource base, local networks, nursery trees, packing facilities and its association with Criterion Africa Partners who have access to significant land holdings,” according to the release.

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