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Index Fresh debuts new pouch bag

Index Fresh Inc. has introduced a new pouch bag for its avocado production. Ready for retail display, the bag is half-mesh with a plastic header to provide optimum visibility and good air circulation for the fruit.

Dana Thomas, president of the Bloomington, CA-based firm, said it is a re-sealable bag that enables a consumer to take out an avocado or two and return the pack to its storage location. On the front of the bag is the Index Fresh avocado brand name, AvoTerra, and on the reverse is an avocado recipe such as an Avocado Citrus Salad. It is available in a variety of avocado counts depending upon the size of the fruit.

 DSC3955Dana ThomasAs Thomas spoke to The Produce News May 24, Index Fresh was about halfway through its California fruit and was just starting to source from Peru. The company has a 52-week program for its customers and he said, “Peru is a key component of that program. We use supplies from there to maintain our volume on a year-round basis.”

He said this season Peru is doubly important because of the smaller California crop, which has been estimated at only half the size of the 2016 volume.

Peru’s season coincides fairly well with the California season. Most shippers began shipments from there in May and will have volume from that South American source through the summer. Thomas expects Peru’s shipments to peak in the June-July time frame, with marketing continuing into September.

The company has affiliations with packingsheds in several districts in Peru, and will source from those locations as the harvest moves from north to south. That, of course, is opposite to the ripening situation in California because of the Southern Hemisphere location of that elongated country.

Thomas said Peru does have a “significantly larger crop” this year, so Index is expecting to bring in more volume. He added that Peru typically has a larger size profile than California or Mexico. Though last year Peru’s fruit was on the smaller side, this year Thomas expects it to produce quite a few 40s, 36s and 32s.

Index has participated in the Peruvian deal for a handful of years and Thomas said packers there are now putting up a top-quality pack. He said packers and exporters have gained a lot of experience in the last three to four years and they now produce “a high-quality piece of fruit” that Index Fresh is proud to ship under its AvoTerra label.

Peruvian exporters have built up a strong following in Europe and Thomas expects that a majority of its fruit will still go to that market this year. However, he said short supplies in the United States and the strong pricing will clearly attract more volume to this country.