( Courtesy Mission Produce )

Mission Produce Inc., Oxnard, is expanding its global avocado network with a partnership to market South African fruit to Europe and Asian markets, including China.

Mission Produce is partnering with South African exporter Core Fruit and ZZ2, which will “offer its production, packing and ecosystem creation know-how together with its avocado technical knowledge, resource base, local networks, nursery trees, packing facilities and it’s association with Criterion Africa Partners who have access to significant land holdings,” according to a news release from Mission Produce.

The partnership, known as Mission South Africa, plans to establish regional relationships with growers.

“The Mission Produce-ZZ2 relationship is a strong combination and demonstrates our commitment to expanding globally and leading the avocado industry,” Mission Produce President and CEO Steve Barnard said in the release.

“Southern Africa is an ideal source because of the region's location, fruit quality and access to Europe and Asia,” Barnard said in the release.

The partnership is expected to add value to growers and assist in developing the avocado production potential of the region, according to the release, with a rapid expansion of Mission’s “vertical integration model in an advantageous supply window,” accord to the release.

Mission hired Lindie Stroebel to manage the program.

“We are excited for her to establish a presence and start building local connections,” Keith Barnard, vice president of global sourcing for Mission, said in the release. “The addition of South Africa will ensure that Mission Produce’s supply keeps pace with demand.”

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