California Avocado Society: 105 Years Young
One hundred and five years ago, a group of avocado growers got together and formed what is now the California Avocado Society. At that time, there was essentially no market for the strange and delicious fruit, and these farmers understood that cooperation would be necessary to improve “the culture, production and marketing of the Ahuacate.”
Fast forward 105 years, and the California Avocado Society continues to carry out the mission of its forward-thinking forefathers. The organization is now the oldest continually operating grower’s association in California.
The Society is proud of its history and excited about its future. New challenges emerge constantly for California avocado growers, and the Society regularly adapts its communications strategies to equip it members around the world with cutting edge research and current market analysis.
Members receive a digital weekly newsletter that relies on in-depth market data provided by longtime partners the Hass Avocado Board and the California Avocado Commission. This information provided to the grower community in collaboration with these organizations, helps producers more efficiently run their avocado business. The Society’s new Avocado Quarterly is published digitally four times a year and offers a deeper dive into the grower experience, international avocado production, and field and laboratory research, including nutritional research about avocados performed by HAB.
Traditionally, the Society hosts three in-person seminars that cover important topics facing growers. This year, COVID-19 forced an instant modernization of those meetings. As a result, larger numbers of growers, and growers from avocado producing countries around the world, were able to tune in and participate in webinars on topics ranging from weed management to new cultivars. Similarly, the Society is planning a virtual Oct. 21 Annual Meeting where pre-recorded field segments are followed by live Q&As.
Dedicated to improving avocado-growing practices and production, the Society seeks to connect growers from around the world to promote sharing of successful strategies. In 2017, the Society led an educational (and fun) trip to Mexico that allowed growers from both countries to learn new tools and discuss common challenges. In coming years, the Society will lead similar trips to Africa, Brazil and New Zealand/Australia.
Overseen by an all-volunteer board of directors comprised of avocado growers, managers and industry representatives, the California Avocado Society survives and thrives thanks to its membership.Learn more about the California Avocado Society
Early in the new year, the Hass Avocado Board added a Sustainability Task Force to its roster of standing and special committees. During the 5 year (2021-2025) strategic planning process in 2020 the Board of Directors changed the focus of our previous sustainability efforts to that of a more core value program that the Board, and the industry must embrace as we move into the future.
Believe it or not, but the total volume of avocado fruit sold in the U.S. ROSE by 6.1% in 2020, from 2.492 billion pounds in 2019 to 2.644 billion pounds at the end of the year. One could have imagined in late March of this past year, that the industry would be seriously and financially devastated by the public health crisis we have been dealing with and the catastrophic impact it initially had on food distribution, and the dramatic impact that it had, and continues to have on the entire food service industry.
February was American Heart Month and, as in previous years, the Hass Avocado Board engaged with a marketing and communications campaign to promote the nutrition message and raise awareness on how including delicious avocados in everyday healthy eating plans can provide a whole food source of naturally good fats, fiber and other important nutrients that can reduce the risk for heart disease.