Mission strives to be the industry standard in service and product excellence

Avocado ripening requires skilled experts

Mission Produce, Inc. addresses the niche market need for sophisticated avocado ripening. "Experts in all things avocados, Mission Produce’s ripening program is led by experienced specialists at state-of-the-art ripening centers that focus solely on avocados," a release from the company says. A sensitive fruit, avocados require more careful, skilled handling than others such as bananas, mangoes, or pineapples. These sophisticated ripening practices reduce shrink and provide extensive value to avocado programs in retail, wholesale and foodservice markets.

Because avocados come from numerous parts of the globe, varying conditions such as seasonality, origin, age, and handling practices affect the fruit. A professional ripener must be able to masterfully
balance the effects of those conditions with factors such as dry matter, temperature, humidity, among others to get that perfectly ripe avocado, ensuring the best quality, customer experience and minimized shrink. Mastering the complex ripening process takes training, time, and skill, and is a process that should be entrusted to a specialized expert like Mission Produce.

“We have experts on both the science and on the art. The science behind ripening is key, but there is an art to how you handle the fruit,” explained Mission’s Director of Operational Excellence Jason Payne. “You must know the science to create the art. The art is knowing the timing, age, dry matter, and operation of the rooms.”

Because Mission’s focus is avocados from field to fork, it has the benefit of understanding what avocados need to be the best they can be. An unspecialized program that handles multiple products might not be able to evaluate or judge with as much accuracy what exact technique should be used to ripen a piece of fruit.

“Mission’s goal is to provide its customers with the best product available,” explained Mission FDC Manager Stacy McFann. “We continually develop, research, and educate our staff on new industry techniques to provide increased shelf life and have continued to adopt innovative practices within the ripening process. Mission strives to be the industry standard in service and product excellence.”

Mission has 11 operational, state-of-the-art, avocado-specific ripening facilities globally, with its 12th and largest underway in Laredo, Texas. Nine of its facilities are in North America, strategically located to be no more than a 24-hour truck ride away from any customer.

“When I ripen fruit, I think of how I would want to receive the fruit as a retailer, wholesaler, and as a consumer,” said Mission’s Ripe and Inventory Manager George Bahamonde. “You must love what you do, as well as take pride and ownership in the end result. I think what sets Mission apart in the industry is primarily its commitment from everyone here to ensure we deliver the best fruit to our customers. The commitment, drive, devotion, knowledge, passion, training, and ownership of everyone has been the key to Mission’s success.”

Perfectly ripe avocado.

For more information:
Denise Junqueiro
Senior Director of Marketing and Communications
Mission Produce, Inc.

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