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Inside West Pak

Expertise From Both Sides of the Grove

By June 25, 2024No Comments

Meet Scott Savard, a dedicated Field Buyer for West Pak Avocado, based in Oxnard, California. With over 30 years of experience in agriculture, Scott has a unique perspective on the avocado industry, having transitioned from farm management to the packing side. His passion for developing orchards and connecting with growers shines through as he shares insights into his role, challenges, and the driving force behind his work.

Where are you from, and which West Pak Facility do you work out of?

Scott: I was born and raised in Ventura, California, and I work out of the Northern office in Oxnard, CA.

What is your role at West Pak?

Scott: I am a Field Buyer for West Pak Avocado, where I source fruit from Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Louis Obispo counties.

What are your current responsibilities in your role?

Scott: I source avocados from growers in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties. My responsibilities include meeting with growers, estimating their volume, and figuring out the best harvest strategy to maximize their profits. I travel throughout the counties looking for new orchards being developed and prospecting new clientele.  With the help of a great team of experts at West Pak, I am able to offer valuable insight into the current market conditions.

Why a career in agriculture? 

Scott: My agricultural career began after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo about 30 years ago. I was fortunate enough to be mentored by a couple of legendary farm managers, who helped me establish a long career in farm management and custom farming. I found a lot of pride and enjoyment in developing avocado and citrus orchards throughout Ventura County. Many of those orchards are still producing valuable crops today. 

I have always been interested in soil science and pest management, which led me to become a licensed Pest Control Advisor and Qualified Applicator.  

After many years of farming and developing new avocado orchards, it has been refreshing to transition into the marketing and packing side of the industry.

What are you truly passionate about? What drives you to do what you do?

Scott: I enjoy being a part of a team environment embodied by hard work and efficiency. The driving force is the challenge of ensuring a quality product reaches the consumer, which benefits the grower, packer, distributor, and consumer.

How do you like working for West Pak? 

Scott: Becoming a member of the West Pak family has been a fulfilling transition. I have had the pleasure of knowing one of the West Pak owners for many years, and it has been inspiring to see firsthand how he and his partner continue to maintain their organization’s core values. It has also been very enjoyable to work with such a great team of people. 

What are the strengths that you bring to your job?

Scott: Transitioning to the sourcing/sale/packing side of the Avocado Industry after being a farm manager for most of my career has enabled me to connect with growers on a more impactful level. My background and experience have allowed me to have a deeper understanding of avocado production and helped me foster a unique bond with growers based on communication and compassion.

What are you finding is the best aspect of your role?

Scott: Meeting and interacting with folks from different backgrounds and touring the beautiful orchards they have created. 

What is the most challenging part of what you do?

Scott: My biggest challenge is to see growers struggle with increasing costs of inputs and lower production. Trying to navigate a way to help them maximize the production they do have and offer ideas to better improve the vitality of their trees moving forward.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Scott: My wife and I are blessed with 3 beautiful daughters. We enjoy spending time with them and watching them grow in their careers and life endeavors. 

What is your favorite quote or motto?

 Scott: As the late, great Tom Petty would say: “I won’t back down.

What is your favorite way to eat/prepare avocados?

Scott: As-is or spiced up with jalapeños.