Posts Tagged “Mission Produce”

Largest Avocado Ripening and Processing Facility is being Built in the U.S.

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Laredo, TX—Integrated Design-Build firm A M King has begun construction of a 262,000-sf ripening and cold storage distribution center for Mission Produce Inc., the world’s largest grower, packer, and shipper of Hass avocados.

The new mega-facility will be located in Laredo’s Pinnacle Industry Center on 32.6 acres adjacent to the Rio Grande River and the Mexican Border. It will allow the company to capitalize on the continued popularity of its signature product in the nation’s busiest land port. Mission plans to initially hire 75 employees when the project is complete in May 2021. 

Mission Produce, founded in 1983, owns and operates state-of-the-art avocado packing facilities in multiple global locations, including California, Mexico and Peru. Hass avocados are grown in these tropical and subtropical climates, with each tree producing between 150 and 500 avocados per year. In addition, the company’s distribution network includes 11 forward distribution centers in North America, China and Europe. All facilities are GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) certified and are fully compliant with regulations such as FSMA, SFCR, HACCP and the Codex Alimentarius. The new distribution facility in Laredo will be its largest to date, eclipsing the company’s headquarters facility in Oxnard, CA by nearly 50,000 sf.

“We are happy to join Mission Produce in the design and construction of the largest avocado plant in the country,” says A M King Vice President Dan Crist. “Our food industry expertise, coupled with our track record of successfully completed cold storage and distribution projects, makes this an ideal partnership.”

“The Laredo, Texas facility will shorten our replenishment time to our network and add flexibility in managing inventory,” said Mission Produce’s President and CEO Steve Barnard. “The City of Laredo is strategically positioned on the border of Texas and Mexico, making it an ideal location for the distribution of Mexican avocados into the United States. By investing in Laredo, we are redoubling our commitment to serving customers, providing value-added services, creating jobs, and leading the avocado industry.”

A M King provided Mission Produce with full site consultancy services, which included analysis of the property currently needed by the business today, as well as for future planned expansions. Mission Produce required as much flexibility as possible while still incorporating easily adaptable economical infrastructure and layout. A M King also worked in tandem with Mission Produce to determine adequate site infrastructure requirements for securing local economic development incentives.

Additionally, A M King managed the complicated process of acquiring the site while meeting all zoning and municipal ordinances specific to site development of greenfield land in the City of Laredo. Working together with A M King, Mission Produce was able to execute the property purchase of the best possible location for this advanced, world-class facility to begin development within an accelerated time period.

Like any food facility that A M King designs and builds, putting sanitary design measures in place is paramount. In this facility, there will be a number of elements with this focus, including floor drains for room washing and washable surfaces (concrete floor, IMP walls); structural steel tubes in lieu of W beams (avoiding surfaces for dust collecting), and installation of sinks in the packaging areas. In addition, several sustainability processes will be implemented, such as rainwater management, heat island reduction, daylighting and focus on energy performance.

During construction, A M King will enforce new safety policies and procedures for infectious diseases in accordance with CDC and OSHA recommendations, as well as local and state requirements. Some of those include temperature checks, social distancing, use of masks and gloves, handwashing stations and limiting group gatherings.

The scope of work on this project will include design and construction of ripening rooms; coolers; forced air cooler; cooler dock; dry goods storage; a bagging and production area; offices and dispatch; Border Patrol office; and USDA office.

Functionality is the focus on all operational areas, such as storage, staging, ripening, packaging, shipping and receiving. All the rooms are designed to facilitate company processes from receipt of the avocados from growers to delivery to vendors. The main office and the shipping office feature unique aesthetics and are designed with large open areas for offices and employee welfare. Broad views will be enjoyed through curtain walls and over the balcony of the two main sides of the building, including the dock. There will be an interesting combination of volumes with intersecting angles. 

Recently, A M King designed and constructed a smaller-scale cold storage distribution center in Charlotte, N.C. for West Coast-based Henry Avocado Corporation. This facility was designed with the capability to distribute approximately 300,000 avocados per day along with storage capacity for an additional one million avocados.

A M King is an integrated Design-Build firm based in Charlotte, NC with offices in Greenville, SC and Chicago, IL. The firm consistently and successfully delivers quality projects throughout the United States. With an experienced team committed to protecting clients’ assets, the company provides property consulting, design and engineering, construction and facility services in the sectors of food processing, food distribution, industrial manufacturing and commercial properties. A M King’s exemplary track record demonstrates that the company is focused on its mission to be the best in the industry.

Mission Produce Inc. is the world’s most advanced avocado network. The company owns and operates state-of-the-art avocado packing facilities in multiple growing locations including California, Mexico, Peru and Colombia, and it also sources product from countries such as Chile, New Zealand and Guatemala. In addition, Mission Produce’s global distribution network includes 11 forward distribution centers in North America, China and Europe. Over the past 35 years, Mission Produce has become recognized as the leader in the worldwide avocado business.

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South African Avocado Partnership is Launched by Mission Produce

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A global avocado network with a partnership to market South African fruit to Europe, China and other Asian markets, including China and eventually the U.S., is underway by Mission Produce Inc. of Oxnard, CA.

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.

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Mission Produce is Diversifying Avocado Sources to Avoid Supply Disruptions

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Mission Produce of Oxnard, CA is diversifying where it sources avocados to ensure more consistent avocado supplies, spurred in big part by a Mexican labor strike earlier this year.

While the company wants to have a year-round supply, but also is taking steps to have multiple sources for avocados to ensure more consistent of supply.

This was a big issue in the avocado category for imported product by the U.S. coming from Mexico. Labor strikes last season caused significant disruptions. To help avoid such issues in the future, Mission has been increasing its plantings in other countries.

The company has planted 1,500 hectares (about 3,700 acres) in Colombia and has also increased its acreage in Peru from 2,600 hectares to more than 3,000 hectares (about 7,400 acres).

Mexico easily remains the dominant avocado supplier for the U.S., having exported nearly 2 billion pounds of the fruit to the U.S. in 2018, according to the USDA. Peru, the most significant source of avocados aside from Mexico, exported roughly 180 million pounds of fruit to the U.S. last year.

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Mission Produce is Ramping up Columbia Avocado Production

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Mission Produce Inc. of Oxnard, CA has announced plans to ramp up its Columbian avocado production within the next two years.  The announcement was made prior to the World Avocado Congress, held in Medellin, Columbia in late September.

The company partnered in 2017 with Cartama, one of the country’s largest avocadoo growers, according to a news release.

“Colombia will provide us with an added source of year-round, high-quality fruit,” Mission Produce president and CEO Steve Barnard said in the release. “We will also continue partnering with Cartama to support volume and growth. We are replicating our vertically-integrated, cutting-edge business model in this country.”

The goal is to plant 1,000-1,500 hectares (about 2,500-3,700 acres) of avocado trees in Colombia to supply domestic and international markets, including the U.S. and Europe, Barnard said.

Colombia’s location makes it ideal for producing avocados because of its growing conditions, market accessibility and logistical abilities. 

“Colombia is unique in that it offers a year-round supply of fruit. Our country will act as strong source for global avocados in the coming years,” Cartama CEO Ricardo Uribe said in the release.

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Mission Produce Opens New Ripening, Distribution Center in Portland, Oregon

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DSCN0857by Mission Produce

Mission Produce, the industry leader in producing, distributing, and marketing fresh Hass avocados has opened a state-of-the-art, ripening and distribution center in Portland, Ore. This new forward distribution center (FDC), will expand Mission’s capabilities in the Pacific-Northwest.

“Portland, Ore., is a great location for our new FDC,” stated Ben Barnard, Vice President of Global Partnerships and Business Development. “This new facility at 58,000 square feet, will expand our ripe capacity by providing 10 ripe rooms that are each capable of storing 24 pallets. Also, the facility will enhance our cold storage by offering two coolers and a cutting-edge refrigerated control system,” continued Barnard. In addition to coolers, a refrigerated control system, and ripe rooms, the Portland facility will house five functional refrigerated loading docks and five temporary non-refrigerated docks.

“Mission is extremely excited about this new facility,” added Steve Barnard, President, and CEO. “We are always looking ahead and considering the demand for avocados. Our continued growth within the ripe category is necessary. This FDC is strategically positioned in Portland, Ore., to broaden our ripe capacities in the Pacific-Northwest region, keeping Mission within a 24-hour truck-drive away anywhere nationwide.”

Mission hosted a grand opening of the new facility last August. The event was for customers and potential partners to tour the FDC and meet members of the Mission team from quality, sales, and ripening. “Our team of Mission trained experts were thrilled to host this grand opening. They are ready to continue assisting the Pacific-Northwest region with their ripening expertise and knowledge of the avocado industry standards,” stated Ryan Fink, Vice President of North American Operations. “By continuing to expand our facilities, we are able to better serve our growing customer base with additional capacity to react when needed. Also, with the upgraded refrigeration and ripening controls we are able to continue to monitor and ensure conditions stay optimal to deliver the highest quality fruit to our customers daily.”

About Mission Produce:

Mission Produce owns and operates state-of-the-art avocado packing facilities in multiple global locations including California, Mexico, and Peru. In addition, the company’s global distribution network includes 11 ripening and distribution centers in North America, China, and Europe.

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