The First Name In Avocados
Turning a delicious but odd-shaped fruit into a household favorite wasn’t in the plan when a group of grower-hobbyists banded together in 1924 to form the California Avocado Growers Exchange. At the time, avocado growers had no quality standards, no distribution channels, and only one facility, a packinghouse in Vernon, California. During that first year, the Growers Exchange packed 180,000 pounds of avocados from that packinghouse and, in doing so, launched an industry.
Though the Vernon packinghouse has long since closed, the company that sprang from that Growers’ Exchange - now known as Calavo Growers, Inc. - is still going strong some 81 years later. In 2005, this publicly traded, diversified, global agribusiness packed approximately 35 percent of the California avocado crop, nearly double the market share of its closest competitor. Three modern packinghouses - strategically located in Santa Paula and Temecula, California, and Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico - teem with productivity and thrive on volume, packing approximately 200 million pounds per year. The company is now headquartered in Santa Paula, California and employs more than 500 people.
Calavo’s two principal business units - fresh avocados and processed products - supply wholesale, retail, foodservice distributors and operators and industrial. The company’s processed products division manufactures nearly 100 brand name and proprietary flavors of frozen and fresh-refrigerated guacamoles using ultra-high-pressure technology from a new, state-of-the-art 90,000-plus square foot production facility in Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico. In supermarkets, Calavo’s great-tasting fresh-refrigerated guacamole is available to consumers nationwide. And, consumers of Calavo fresh avocados now span the globe, from Japan to Europe and beyond.