OXNARD, CA – Having a global network of operations and partnerships is no small feat for leading-edge companies hoping to impact growth and supply in the competitive avocado category. For the Westfalia Fruit Group, this vision and mission are even further elevated by its purpose-driven goal of changing the way that customers buy and sell avocados and how the end-consumer experiences the coveted category.
As we look to prime avocado promotional periods across the winter and spring, Angela Tallant, Director of Sales and Marketing at Westfalia’s North American operation, joins me to reveal the expanse of Westfalia’s fruitful supplier base and why the company’s partnerships drive excellence in the sector.
“The Westfalia Fruit Group has an incredibly diverse global avocado-growing footprint with an operational presence in five continents and 15 countries. We grow and source in all the major production regions including California when in season, within established origins such as Mexico, Chile, Israel, Spain, and Africa, as well as in developing areas like Peru, Colombia, and Portugal,” Angela says. “Our wide production base enables us to supply the best quality avocados at any time of the year, supported by our vertically integrated supply chain to ensure maximum efficiencies in terms of carbon footprint and food miles.”
Even with such an expansive reach already, Westfalia is identifying areas of development. As it looks to bring more availability to its customers in the coming years, the company expects to supply fruit from South Africa when the U.S. approves the importation protocols. In the meantime, the company is nurturing its family of growers and keeping a premium product top of mind for Westfalia customers.
“We own many of our orchards which enables us to manage the supply chain from farm to fork. In some regions, we also partner with selected growers and work closely with them to meet accredited standards. Our team manages several local community projects, sourcing from a collective of smallholder farms and providing agronomic and practical support—all allowing these partners to have access to international markets not previously attainable,” Angela tells me.
As you can see, the advantages of partnering with Westfalia for both supply and retail programs are many, especially as we ramp up for heightened demand in the coming months.
“With local supply in California, our co-ownership of the 3rd largest packhouse in Mexico, and support from our global footprint of #avoexperts, we can guarantee the best quality avocados 52 weeks of the year. Our team at Westfalia Fruit USA is highly experienced and passionate about our programs, ensuring our ready-to-eat packs are at their optimum flavor profile when they land on retailer shelves,” Angela adds.
The ability to cast such a wide net when it comes to resources can provide many inherent challenges for companies that are not vertically integrated from seed to fork. With Westfalia’s strategic structure, it is able to offer supply solutions, commercial agreements, and food safety standards that are consistent globally. On top of these advantages, the company can also bring value through innovation and value-added concepts developed in other markets such as Europe for the consideration of its U.S. customers.
And believe me, when we hear a word like “innovation,” our next question is always about execution and how a company is positioned to deliver on such a promise.
“Throughout our 72-year history, we have prioritized sustainability, supported by research, and innovation. Westfalia Technological Services is one of the world’s leading privately funded research facilities dedicated to tropical produce and has been key in driving the category forward through the introduction of varietal and rootstock innovations,” Angela expresses. “Product innovation within the Group includes projects that utilize proven technology such as IQF and high-pressure processing as well as state-of-the-art ripening centers—all of which has enabled us to achieve total crop utilization and minimize wastage.”
With such investments and forethought going into the lucrative avocado category, the real question is: What is your next move?