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Avocados From Mexico names new chief

Alvaro Luque, who was previously vice president of marketing of Mission Foods, has been named president of Avocados From Mexico, the industry organization responsible for promoting Mexican avocados within the United States.

Avocados From Mexico was formed last year as the combined marketing arm of two Mexican avocado organizations — MHAIA and APEAM. MAHIA is the organization representing U.S. importers of Mexican avocados while APEAM represents growers of Mexican avocados.

AFM utilizes funds from assessments on imported avocados from Mexico through the Hass Avocado Board and also on separate assessments that are levied by APEAM on its members. Its budget is in the neighborhood of $36 million, making it the largest single fresh produce commodity promotion group in the United States.

Luque replaces Tim O'Connor, who was hired after a lengthy search in the summer of 2013. However, his tenure was short lived as it was determined that "it was not a good fit," O'Connor said in early September.

Luque took over the post in mid-January and reportedly immediately headed for Mexico to visit with growers. Neither he nor any other representative from AFM was immediately available to discuss the hire, which was confirmed by both an AFM employee and the human resources department of Mission Foods. Luque also lists his new title on his "Linked In" page.