New Mevi Avocado packhouse positioned for growth
CIUDAD GUZMAN, Mexico—Visionary grower Mevi Avocados’ new packing facility is up and running―and already poised for expansion.
Strategically located in the state of Jalisco, which is now the second largest source of avocados in the country after Michoacan, the operation’s 35-container-a-week capacity will lift significantly when a second packing line is added in mere months.
The facility, which opened officially on July 13, gives the avocados Mevi grows on the surrounding acreage direct access to Asian markets via the nearby port city of Manzanillo. Mevi also grows avocados throughout nearby Michoacan―the only Mexican state currently cleared to export the fruit to the U.S. Its year-round harvest is marketed exclusively by The Oppenheimer Group. Mevi and Oppenheimer anticipate that the market will open to avocados grown in Jalisco in the near future.
“The Medina family, which owns and operates Mevi, has a long-standing reputation for avocados of impeccable quality and unparalleled flavor,” said James Milne, Oppy’s avocado category director. “The new facility represents a significant investment in putting fruit condition and quality at the forefront. We look forward to the opportunity to sell the fruit packed there, and we applaud the Medinas’ proactive approach.”
Oppy’s avocado category managers Mike Kostick and Jeff Walker, along with category analyst Rodrigo Lopez, joined local dignitaries, including the mayor of Ciudad Guzman, at the opening ceremony earlier this month.
Innovations in the packhouse, which will eventually employ around 300 people, include a state-of-the-art packing line, offices for quality assurance staff and ultimately USDA personnel, and a cold storage chamber. New technology has been introduced outside the packing house as well, Milne said, including a new and automated irrigation system on 1,700 acres of avocado production. Inside and out, the growing and packing process is managed by specialized staff members to assure optimum efficiency.
The Medina family has grown avocados since 1974, when, after years of producing strawberries, sugarcane and corn, Javier Medina Sr. saw great potential in the buttery, green fruit and planted his first trees. Today, Medina and his son, also called Javier, manage the business together, with the elder Medina overseeing operations and the younger liaising with Oppy on marketing and sales.
Mevi avocados are available, ripened to customer specifications, year-round.