Chiquita's Fresh & Ready avocado pullout a 'shame', says supplier
Chiquita Brands International has withdrawn its Fresh & Ready avocado sales despite one of its major suppliers describing the product as a success.
Californian supplier Harvest Time Produce's chief executive Alex Demos said Chiquita had stopped sourcing avocados from his company last month, while other suppliers were cut off around Apr. 10.
Demos said his company had been contracted to supply avocados for the Fresh & Ready brand, which uses special plastic bagging to extend shelf life.
"This product worked really well, it stayed fresh and ripe for long periods of time. It's a shame they are no longer in the business."
Chiquita's communications representatives did not respond to calls from www.freshfruitportal.com.
A company spokesperson told The Packer the decision was made to concentrate strategic resources on key categories such as bananas, salads and apples.
Chiquita began importing avocados in 2006, and the Fresh & Ready program was used the past two seasons.
The company's annual report for 2011 showed sales in other produce other than bananas was down from US$261 million in 2010 to US$163 million.
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