HAB Sustainability Task Force
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.
To that end, the overall strategy on sustainability for our sustainability priority is to “strengthen the Hass avocado industry by developing research and data to inform practices that will fulfill today’s needs without compromising those of future generations. We acknowledge that sustainability practices across the supply chain may vary either geographically, or culturally.”
As a part of our overall strategy, one of the five year working goals is to establish the Hass Avocado Sustainability Center, as the premier provider of research, data, and information for the avocado industry. This task force, filled with established business men and women from throughout our avocado supply chain will be tasked with these three objectives to meet our five year working goals:
- Define the structure of the Center, and that is the work that is currently being undertaken by the task force. After this first goal is met, and structure criteria is developed and approved by the Board, the group will then tackle the other two objectives, and they are
- Establish the membership of the Center, and
- Conduct a robust strategic planning process, to establish, Purpose, Vision, and Mission, and to create the long term strategic plan for this new and exciting venture.
We will keep the industry posted as this work progresses, but we are moving in a positive direction, and one the industry supports. In our industry survey in late 2020, 80% of industry stakeholders who responded said that sustainability is either important, or very important to the future of the industry. This means that growers and importers alike agree we need to find our story, and our future when it comes to sustainability in our industry. The future is bright, and our work on sustainability will continue to make sure the positive stories of our industry are shared with customers and consumers who are engaged with sustainability.
HAB has been investing millions of dollars in marketing campaigns that have helped make fresh Hass avocados a part of pop culture. The use of email within HAB’s marketing efforts played an important role to achieve this goal, by allowing us to build a more direct and personal relationship with our audience and “talk” to them on a one-on-one basis about what the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) and Love One Today® do.
In an effort to address both the extraordinary opportunities and the extraordinary challenges the industry faces, the Hass Avocado Board (HAB), with industry participation, has developed BOLD: The Hass Avocado Industry Board Leadership Development Program. Helping the industry face an increasingly complex marketplace with sophisticated problem-solvers, BOLD is designed to develop emerging leaders who are both motivated and equipped to meet those opportunities and challenges.
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.