Giovanni Cavaletto Discusses Avocado Sourcing and Growing Index Fresh's Footprint
RIVERSIDE, CA - It seems like the fruit on consumers’ minds continues to be avocados. While avocados have been experiencing a renaissance of sorts over the past few years, Index Fresh has been celebrating the deliciousness of the fruit since 1914—with the company even traveling overseas to ensure the best of the best is available to retailers and consumers year-round. One way Index Fresh has accomplished this feat is by emphasizing its long-term relationships with growers and family farms in California, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and, soon, Colombia as a means to source the right fruit at the right time.
“Sourcing in several countries allows us to have high-quality avocados on a year-round basis, both conventional and organic,” said Giovanni Cavaletto, VP of Sourcing. “The diversification of having several countries has allowed us to continue to grow despite any production setbacks in any given country.”
Index Fresh first began expanding into other countries in the early 1990s, after a growth in demand and a freeze in California pushed the company to begin outreach in Latin America. Soon after, the company began sourcing its avocados from Chile and Mexico, with its Peru program kicking off in 2007-2008. According to a press release, sourcing from countries outside of the U.S. brings in fruit that’s a little different in nature (even within the Hass category) due to the diversity of their growing environments—which include the subtropical highlands in Mexico, the natural river valleys along the coast of Peru, and the Mediterranean climate north and south of Santiago, Chile.
“So much of what we do boils down to relationships. A part of our mission is to maximize returns for growers. I think that knowing the culture at Index Fresh is set by a Board of Directors made up entirely of growers resonates with all of the grower organizations we partner with,” Cavaletto continued.
Across its business, Index Fresh maintains a high level of integrity, transparency, and authenticity to ensure it is a responsible avocado marketer that serves as an ally for its farmers, instead of simply creating a buy-sell relationship. This has helped Index Fresh build relationships that have lasted over 25 years, and counting, with growers in Mexico, Peru, Chile, and California.
“Our entire procurement team spends a lot of time in countries getting to know the growers, getting to know the strengths of each production region, and that comes through with our customers,” Cavaletto concluded.
For more details about Index Fresh’s sourcing operations, click here. For more of the latest fresh produce news, keep following AndNowUKnow.