Calavo Tomato Program Updates: Kurt Kistler Joins Calavo as VP of Sales – Commencement of Culiacan Season

SANTA PAULA, Calif. – Calavo Growers, Inc (Nasdaq:CVGW), a global leader of fresh produce and value-added fresh foods, is pleased to announce the addition of Kurt Kistler as VP of Sales, tomatoes and papaya, and the retirement of industry veteran Brian Bernauer.

Kistler brings over 25 years of fresh produce industry experience after having spent the last 7 years at Charlie’s Produce. He also previously held positions at Taylor Farms and UNFI.  During his tenure at those respective companies, he became proficient in managing a national sales department, brokerage, purchasing, grower relations, marketing and quality control.  In his position at Calavo, Kistler will direct all aspects of Calavo’s tomato and Hawaiian papaya programs, including sales, grower relations and shipping operations.  He will report to Mike Browne, EVP Sales and Operations.

“We are excited to have a well rounded and knowledgeable leader in Kurt to support and grow our tomato and papaya programs.” stated Mike Browne, EVP.  “We also would like to thank Brian Bernauer for his many years of leadership with Calavo and wish him well in his retirement”.

Calavo is entering a transitional period for its year-round tomato program in Mexico as the Jalisco greenhouse production wraps up in January, and it commences the Culiacan season.  Typically a mid-December start, due to heavy rainfall during planting season, this year’s  Culiacan start may be slightly delayed until late December/early January.  Kistler commented “We are estimating a record volume season from Culiacan, with promotable volumes January through May”.

The company continues to offer its greenhouse grown rounds and romas in a variety of packs and sizes.  Megan Stallings, Sr. Account Manager, Tomato Sales for Calavo added “We’re looking forward to plenty of really good quality fruit.

Upcoming changes to the Tomato Suspension Agreement could likely affect markets, however, as we head into that Culiacan season.“  

About Calavo Growers, Inc. 

Calavo Growers, Inc. (Nasdaq: CVGW) is a global leader in quality produce, including avocados, tomatoes and papayas, and a pioneer of healthy fresh-cut fruit, vegetables and prepared foods. Calavo products are sold under the trusted Calavo brand name, proprietary sub-brands, private label and store brands.

Founded in 1924, Calavo has a rich culture of constant innovation, sustainable practices and market growth. The company serves retail grocery, foodservice, club stores, mass merchandisers, food distributors and wholesalers worldwide. Calavo is headquartered in Santa Paula, California, with processing plants and packing facilities throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Learn more about The Family of Fresh™ at