US fresh produce group Calavo Growers is to build a packing house in Mexico for avocados to go on sale in the US and other international markets.

Calavo said the 70,000 square foot facility in Ciudad Guzmán, a city in the central state of Jalisco, would "substantially increase" its annual packing capacity for fresh avocados. The company already has operations further east in Uruapan in the state of Michoacán.

"We expect that expanding operations into a second growing region – vastly increasing Calavo’s packing capacity – enables us to build upon and extend our fresh avocado market leadership," chairman, president and CEO Lee Cole said. "With domestic avocado consumption expected to exceed two billion pounds this year, the new packing operations in Guzmán are essential to remaining on the forward edge of industry growth and building upon our unrivalled market-leadership position."

Cole added: "Beyond this steady rise in US avocado consumption, emerging international markets such as China, other parts of the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, point to the exceptional opportunity in being an early entrant in Ciudad Guzmán, just as Calavo was in Uruapan in the late 1990s."

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