Calavo Growers, Inc., Santa Paula have announced the completion of a previously reported expansion of fresh avocado packing operations at its Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico, facility to keep pace with strong consumer demand in that produce category.
"with per capita consumption heading from four to five pounds annually in the past decade or so alone, that figure has risen from a mere two pounds."
The company, a global avocado-industry leader and an expanding provider of value-added fresh food, says that the upgrades provide Calavo's Uruapan packinghouse with the capacity to pack at least six million pounds of fruit per week, a 200% increase over prior output. Translating to about 300 million pounds per annum, the stepped-up production capability in Mexico brings it in line with Calavo's California packinghouses for a total company capacity of approximately 600 million pounds per year, according to Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Lee E. Cole.
"Consumer demand for fresh avocados continues to grow at a quickening pace," says Cole, "with per capita consumption heading from four to five pounds annually. In the past decade or so alone, that figure has risen from a mere two pounds."
Cole stated that industry estimates forecast 2013 United States avocado consumption of at least 1.65 billion pounds, an increase of more than 17% from the expected 2012 purchases and about 47% over 2011 consumption.
"With the anticipated uptick in supply and our expanded capacity, Calavo is well positioned to handle this increased volume. Further, the capital investment in Uruapan reflects a new Calavo focus on expanding its market-leading position in the fast-growth fresh avocado segment," he says.
The Uruapan packinghouse became fully operational on August 1 at stepped-up production levels, Cole notes.