The Seed of it All
Our pursuit for avo-excellence starts in our own groves and with our partnerships with responsible growers; carries through to harvesting, packing, and distribution to our customers; and culminates with consumers who enjoy our nutritious and delicious avocados.
Our Grower Commitment
Our growers are the cornerstone of our avocado family – That’s why we’re so committed to providing tailored field services for every grove in order to meet each grower’s individualized needs. With local representation throughout California’s 8,000 acres of growing areas, West Pak field specialists use their years of propagating expertise to assure growers accurate and profitable farming support. Along with fair and competitive prices, our team is committed to helping growers realize a successful harvest and to stay a step ahead in an ever-increasing competitive market.
In the summer months, during peak harvest times in Southern California, the temperatures begin to climb rapidly. Most quality problems occur when harvest and hauling temperatures are too high. Problems arise because the fruit may ripen too quickly, not ripen at all, or develop “off” flavors. Avoid harvesting during hot weather (above 90˚ F) if you can. When the maximum temperature forecast for the day exceeds 90° F, hang a thermometer nearby in a shaded area of the orchard and monitor temperature during picking.
Also, it is essential to maintain moderate bin temperatures during storage and during hauling to the packinghouse in order to slow down respiration and to prevent water loss, abnormal ripening, and fruit quality loss.*
Source: Good Agricultural Program Version 1.0 from the California Avocado Commission
During the winter months of November through February, even California’s mild climate can bring weather cold enough damage avocado trees and fruit. When a freeze occurs, avocado fruit can be salvaged if the internal and external damage is not severe.
Follow These Steps During A Freeze Event:
- Contact your West Pak Avocado field manager concerning market conditions.
- Working with your field manager, determine if a salvage operation for freeze-damaged fruit makes economic sense. All fruit salvaged after a freeze must be legally mature.
- The Avocado Inspection Service of California’s Department of Food and Agriculture will inspect freeze-damaged fruit and requires the dumping of avocados that do not pass inspection. Use the following guidelines during a freeze salvage operation:
- Avocados with bronze-colored skin, this is an automatic failure resulting in the dumping of the lot.
- Avocados will be cut 1″ below the stem end and 1″ above the blossom end and be disqualified if: ten or more vascular bundles are discolored, the flesh is water-soaked or discolored or if there are any internal voids in the flesh.
- During harvest, avoid fruit with brown stems. Fruit with one-half inch of green stem immediately above the fruit is acceptable.
- Fruit with green stems may still drop seven to ten days after the freeze. This fruit has already lost much of its storage and shipping life and should not be picked up.
- The state will inspect any freeze-damaged fruit received by West Pak Avocado. Fruit that passes inspection will be graded, packed and accounted for using our standard procedures. Fruit that does not pass inspection must be dumped under California law.
- Payment for freeze-damaged fruit will be made in the same time frame as non-freeze-damaged fruit.
Avocado Thrips – Scirtothrips Perseae
Unfortunately, wind damage is a reality, and as hard as we work to grow our fruit, it is hard to watch it waste away on the ground. These are almost annual occurrences that happen in the autumn and early winter months. When an event occurs, the Avocado Inspection Committee (AIC) allows all fruit that meets California Maturity Standards to be salvaged and sold if it is marketable. Fruit that has splits, gouges, or other damages that compromise the flesh are unmarketable. In the past couple of years, windfall has only pertained to the Hass variety, and for the purpose of this page, it will only relate to the Hass or a Hass-like variety.
What Needs To Be Done In Case Of A Windfall:
- Once wind has stopped blowing, and the dangers of entering the grove have subsided, check for downed trees and branches. Take note of not only the amount of fruit on the ground but also of size.
- Contact your field representative and determine what sizes should be picked up. The sizes will be determined by the amount of fruit already in inventory both foreign and domestic. Many times during a windfall is not economically justifiable to pick up 70s and 84s, due to low prices and international competition.
- If you decide to pick up fruit that is not yet released, the fruit will be subject to testing by the AIC. One piece of fruit from each size will be tested free of charge (2 sizes lower than already released size). If you would like smaller sizes tested, the cost is $10.00 per size, and written permission for the Inspector to perform the test is required. For example, if a windfall had been declared on 12/1, only size 40s have been released. Size 48 and size 60 will be given one test by the AIC for maturity. If you wish to pick up size 70 and size 84, then written permission will have to be given to the inspector authorizing them to conduct testing on those sizes. The cost will be $20.00 ($10.00 each size) payable to the AIC. Contact your field representative for further explanation if needed.
- The AIC will declare the windfall and issue an end date for which all fruit to be salvaged. If all sizes have been released, the AIC will not announce a windfall or an end date for picking up fruit. That call is to be made by you and your field representative from West Pak Avocado.
Daily, we haul approximately 450-500 bins, or 425,000 lbs., of avocados from our California groves to our packing plants. Our fleet is part of a broader mission at West Pak called “Commitment to Innovation.” Using the latest technology, our drivers map, notify and update their whereabouts every minute of the avocado journey. This process allows us to route our fleet efficiently and reduce pollution at the same time. Our growers and production staff receive real–time information, which improves efficiency and reduces costs.
Our growers expect pickups to be quick and efficient. Our network alerts you via email when your empties or full bins have been collected. No other avocado company offers inside-the-grove communications like West Pak. We understand our growers’ needs and in all cases, are here to make a difference.
California Emission Standards and Costs
The California Environmental Protection Agency states, “By January 1, 2023, all trucks and buses will need to have installed 2010 model year engines or equivalent.” The majority of our trucks have new factory or DEF Clean Air System installed, which meet or exceed California’s federal and state clean air regulations.
Advertising on the Avocado Highway
Each West Pak truck is a unique reminder to the general public and produce industry that California is the “Home of the Hass Avocado.” From delivery to trade shows, whether wrapped or branded, our fleet is designed to be seen by all who know and love avocados.
“I have been packing with West Pak for 15 years. The drivers at West Pak have always been courteous, respectful, and careful with my fruit. The equipment always looks new and it’s good to see the commitment West Pak has to the California industry.”
– Daniel R., West Pak Grower
Cultural Value Graph
Avocado category management is the systematic approach to understanding and identifying individual market behaviors for strategically enhanced performance and profitability. West Pak provides market-specific data, category options, resources, secure account management through online accounting and trade links to maximize your avocado category.
Utilizing Industry-specific data in providing avocado category performance by region, including trends relative to the national market, regional composite data, historical data, market DMA reports, fruit trending reports, category reports and other useful metrics. Let us help you understand these statistics to better manage your avocado category and accurately identify market-specific sales opportunities.
Are you thinking outside the box when it comes to the management of your avocado category? We provide customized pack options designed for individualized market behaviors that deliver the best configuration for your market. Let the leader in product innovation assist you in engineering a concept that works towards refining your category.
Avocado Maturity Release Dates
Resources and Online Accounting
West Pak provides dynamic and secure online resources for our customers. Through collective data management, conveniently access online tools to create informed decisions on your category’s performance. Whether it is real-time, day-to-day electronically generated content delivered to your inbox, or year-over-year trend data, the information is at your fingertips.