Calavo Growers revamps its leadership structure – Produce Blue Book

SANTA PAULA, Calif., April 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Calavo Growers, Inc. BB #:113203, a global avocado industry leader and value-added fresh food provider, today announced its intends to reorganize its operations to execute Project Uno integration efforts and better serve customers while improving efficiencies and cost savings.

The Company is now organized into two reporting segments, Cultivated and Prepared. The Grown segment will consist of fresh avocados, tomatoes and papayas. The Prepared segment will include all other products, including fresh cut fruits and vegetables, ready-to-eat sandwiches, wraps, salads and snacks, guacamole and salsa sold at retail and foodservice as well as avocado pulp sold to restaurants.

The two segments will each be led by a senior vice president/general manager responsible for sales, profits, strategy, international growth, customer satisfaction, producer/supplier relations and new product development.

“The new organizational structure will bring clarity to the decision-making process and increase the speed of execution to realize efficiencies and drive growth,” said Brian W. Kocher, President and CEO of Calavo. “By aligning product execution responsibilities with P&L management, we will better serve our customers with a profitable, market-driven organization.”

In addition to Grown SVP/GM Rob Wedin and Interim Prepared SVP/GM Ron Araiza, managers reporting to Kocher will be responsible for compliance and policy development and will have a reach and company-wide influence.

  • Financial Director Mariela Matute
  • Director of Human Resources Graciela Montgomery
  • Vice President of Shared Supply Chain will be appointed
  • VP Communications, Marketing & ESG Thomas Federl
  • Vice President Calavo de Mexico Dionisio Ortiz
  • Vice President of Jalisco Operations Eloy Hintz

Matute and Montgomery, who joined Calavo in October, will remain in their roles. Federl joined Calavo on March 28 and Hintz on April 4. The other leadership positions are being filled.

“We moved quickly to establish an effective operating structure and fulfill these roles while ensuring we had the right leaders to succeed,” Kocher said. “By finding great leaders, clarifying their responsibilities, identifying accountabilities, and equipping the organization with processes and services to execute, we will position Calavo for long-term profitable growth.”

The reorganization is part of Calavo’s Uno project, a profit improvement project, which includes pricing initiatives, SKU rationalization, unified sourcing, consolidated freight and optimization of administrative functions across all business units . The company recently announced a brand refresh, which introduced the new Calavo brand identity and logo and consolidated all business units under one Calavo brand.

As a result of the reorganization, the position of chief operating officer, among other roles within the organization, is being eliminated. The anticipated first-year savings in selling, general and administrative expenses associated with the reduction in positions should offset the costs associated with reorganization and investment in talent to fill the new roles. Ongoing cost savings are expected to be over $2 million per year.

About Calavo Growers, Inc.
Calavo Growers, Inc. (Nasdaq: CVGW) is a global leader in quality produce, including avocados, tomatoes and papayas, and a pioneer in fresh, healthy fruits, vegetables and prepared foods. Calavo products are sold under the trusted Calavo brand, exclusive sub-brands, house brands and store brands.

Founded in 1924, Calavo has a rich culture of constant innovation, sustainable practices and market growth. The company now serves retail grocery stores, food service, club stores, mass merchants, food distributors and wholesalers worldwide. Calavo is headquartered in Santa Paula, California, with processing plants and packaging facilities in the United States and Mexico. Learn more about The Family of Fresh™ at calavo.com.

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