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Del Rey Avocado seeing great results from Peruvian program

It has been almost 11 years since Del Rey Avocado made both a strategic decision and financial commitment in a significant farming partnership in Peruvian avocados. This investment in land and trees, combined with an additional contracted grower, is helping the company keep up with the ever-increasing demand for what has been termed “nature’s perfect fruit.”IMG 0541

The family-owned company has been committed to producing high-quality avocados in an environmentally sustainable manner since it’s founding in 1969. So, when the company recognized an emerging trend towards an increasing appetite for avocados here in the United States, it decided with due diligence and nurturing relationships to expand its operations in the beautiful and unique growing regions in Peru.

“Our investment in Peru is just the beginning of what continues to be a deep-rooted commitment to produce the highest-quality fruit for the fastest-growing segment in the fresh produce category,” said Bob Lucy, president of Del Rey, based in Fallbrook, CA.

Because Peru is located in the Southern Hemisphere, avocados from there are typically available June through September in the United States. This is perfect timing because consumption of avocados increases in the summer months and the availability of quality Hass avocados from Peru helps keep up with rising consumer demand. 

“We are excited to be growing avocados in Peru and supplying high-quality Peruvian Hass avocados to the U.S. during late spring and summer months,” said Donny Lucy, vice president of Del Rey Avocado. “This coincides perfectly with high demand periods here in the U.S. and provides our customers excellent opportunities to promote what we believe is the perfect fruit.”

Over the years, Del Rey Avocado has made tremendous investments in planting new trees in diverse growing regions. With consumption of avocados in the United States reaching between 60 million and 65 million pounds a week, expanding in Peru makes good sense.

The Peruvian season typically begins out of the northern growing regions (Olmos) May and runs through June and the central regions (Trujillo and Chiclayo) mid-May thru September. The timing of Peru fits perfectly with the California and Mexico season, as in these regions volume is winding down.

Just like fruit from California and Mexico, avocados from Peru come in a range of sizes for every serving or preparation application. Count sizes range from 28 to 84 per carton. 

Peruvian avocado production and importation are conducted under the guidelines of the Federal Hass Avocado program and has direct oversight of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

“Another benefit of our family-owned company making an investment in Peru is that all the packinghouses are brand new and utilize the latest in technology and safety,” said Lucy. “Our facilities in Peru are both Primus and Global GAP certified.

Once harvested, Del Rey’s Peruvian avocados will make their way to the United States landing in ports in Philadelphia, Miami or Los Angeles. The fruit that lands on the Eastern Seaboard will be distributed through the company’s newly expanded, state-of-the-art distribution facility in Vineland, NJ, and western arrivals will be distributed out of Del Rey’s new, modern distribution facility in Vista, CA, or its headquarters operation in Fallbrook.

Del Rey Avocado expects the demand for its fruit to continue to increase. The company is well positioned with strong growers and an international procurement team to keep up with the demand from retailers, foodservice operators, exporters, and ultimately consumers who love Del Rey avocados.

In operation since 1969, Del Rey Avocado is a family-owned business that packs California avocados grown from San Diego to San Luis Obispo County. The company also has operations in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile.