Calavo Growers, Inc. (Nasdaq-GS: CVGW) today announced that it has created FreshRealm, LLC, a technology company building a platform for everyone who is in the fresh food business—or would like to be—to enable them to do their job more effectively. Calavo will be the majority shareholder with a few key strategic minority partners. Terms were not further disclosed. FreshRealm’s technology platform will allow participants such as traditional retailers, large and small enterprises, communities and food banks to plug in to an ecosystem resembling a national fresh food cooperative. FreshRealm will not sell direct to consumers but instead will serve as the engine that connects participants to a network of regional fresh food producers. FreshRealm is being led by Michael R. Lippold, Calavo’s Director of Strategic Development. “Fresh, healthy food should be more accessible in every corner of our country. There are no ‘Internet deserts’ in the United States. It is time for an end to fresh food deserts, too,” said Lippold. "We’re excited to connect best-in-class fresh food and logic to enable that shift." Lee E. Cole, Calavo’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “FreshRealm is a natural extension of Calavo’s long-term participation in food that is fresh and good for you.” FreshRealm’s strategic relationship with Calavo will allow FreshRealm to immediately operate as an institutionally backed company both financially and operationally. By logically connecting the dots in the fresh food industry, FreshRealm is able to create business value while also greatly reducing food waste. Built into their ecosystem is a plan to gift surplus food to the people and places that need it most. “By acting in their own best interests, participants can help others as they help themselves. We feel like we have a business model that is prosperous for us, for other businesses, and helps us all collectively,” said Lippold.
Cole summarized, “There is plenty of fresh food, good people and good companies in this country. It is time to connect and logically incentivize the pieces to leverage one another, and evolve the fresh food industry for everyone.”About Calavo Calavo Growers, Inc. is a global avocado-industry leader. The company also procures and markets diversified fresh produce items, ranging from tomatoes to tropical produce. An expanding provider of value-added fresh food, the company’s Calavo Foods business segment manufactures and distributes guacamole, guacamole hummus, salsa and tortilla chips under the respected Calavo brand name. Calavo Foods’ wholly owned subsidiary, Renaissance Food Group, LLC, creates, markets and distributes a portfolio of healthy, high-quality lifestyle products for consumers through fast-growing brands that include Garden Highway and Chef Essentials. Founded in 1924, Calavo serves food distributors, produce wholesalers, supermarket retailers and restaurant chains worldwide. About FreshRealm FreshRealm, LLC, is a fresh food cloud-based technology business specializing in increasing efficiencies in the fresh food ecosystem while making the world a better place. Safe Harbor Statement This news release contains statements relating to future events and results of Calavo (including certain projections and business trends) that are “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results and events may differ from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: increased competition, conducting substantial amounts of business internationally, pricing pressures on agricultural products, adverse weather and growing conditions confronting avocado growers, new governmental regulations, as well as other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including, without limitation, the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended October 31, 2012. These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.