Calavo-Brand Tomatoes Set for Market Debut

SANTA PAULA, Calif. -- Calavo Growers, Inc. here is will introduce Calavo-brand tomatoes late this fall.

For the program, the marketer has entered into a marketing and distribution deal with Agricola Belher of Mexico, a well-established producer of fresh vegetables, primarily tomatoes for export to the U.S. market. The Mexican company will be making substantial investments in infrastructure to support the new program, Calavo said.

Lee E. Cole, Calavo's chairman, president and c.e.o., said the expansion into tomatoes will make a meaningful incremental contribution to company revenues. The company expects to see tomato sales in the range of $20 to $25 million in fiscal 2008.

Tomatoes produced by Agricola Belher will be marketed under the Calavo brand, utilizing Calavo's three value-added depots in Santa Paula, Calif., San Antonio and Swedesboro, N.J., as well as its two market locations in Los Angeles, Calif. and Nogales, Ariz.

With rising consumption bolstered by growing awareness of its significant nutritional benefits, tomatoes represent a "key growth opportunity," Cole noted.
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