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La Bonanza expects smaller Mexico crop because of drought

By
Tim Linden

A lack of rain has reduced the size of the current avocado crop from Mexico, according to a report from the leadership team at La Bonanza Avocados.

bonanza“For the 2023-24 season there will be a decrease in fruit of 8 to 10 percent in general in the orchards due to the water stress they suffered in the summer due to the low rainy season,” said Maggie Bezart-Hall, senior director, strategic sales and marketing for La Bonanza. “This season’s curve comes with an impact on calibers 48s and larger. There will be 48s and larger for promotions, but the stronger promotional pricing will be on 60s and smaller.”

In fact, in looking at the expected size curve for the November through January time frame, she said the largest volume carton counts will be the 60s and 70s. “We hope that there will be promotions in the market in those calibers because it will be what Mexico will have in stronger volume,” Bezart-Hall said. “Prices will be more stable if there is more diversity in size promotions during the holidays and Super Bowl. We are working with our customer partners on how we can promote 60s and 70s in bags and bulk for the Super Bowl. A fantastic opportunity is to utilize the coupon bag program offered by Avocados from Mexico.”

While the total crop is expected to be down, La Bonanza expects to ship about the same amount of fruit that it sent to market in 2022/23 because its own orchards have young trees that are still registering yield increases year after year.

In addition, company officials are in discussions with exporters from Colombia and Peru exploring new sources of supply.

Toward the future, La Bonanza has broken ground on a new refrigerated and frozen warehouse facility in Pharr, TX.  “This new facility will have refrigerated rooms and ripening rooms for our fresh avocados and freezer storage for our fresh guacamole and pulp products that are manufactured at our processing facility in Uruapan, Mexico,” Bezart-Hall said, adding that actual construction will begin in 2024.

In touting the company’s value proposition to its customers, she said La Bonanza Avocados always harvests to order. “Our fruit is always field fresh. We harvest from our own orchards and those of our trusted family farms, we remain consistent with our supply and quality,” Bezart-Hall said. “We do not over buy and create old fruit in our warehouse.”

Though this year, the company expects Mexican avocado volume to decline because of the weather issues, the avocado industry veteran said the future is still very bright. With both Michoacán and Jalisco continuing to add to their production areas, she expects Mexico production to bounce back and have a solid supply for the U.S. market for years to come.

Tim Linden

Tim Linden

About Tim Linden  |  email

Tim Linden grew up in a produce family as both his father and grandfather spent their business careers on the wholesale terminal markets in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Tim graduated from San Diego State University in 1974 with a degree in journalism. Shortly thereafter he began his career at The Packer where he stayed for eight years, leaving in 1983 to join Western Growers as editor of its monthly magazine. In 1986, Tim launched Champ Publishing as an agricultural publishing specialty company.

Today he is a contract publisher for several trade associations and writes extensively on all aspects of the produce business. He began writing for The Produce News in 1997, and currently wears the title of Editor at Large.

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