ettle in, class.
Welcome to your first day of Building Global Brands 101. Have your notebooks ready, because we’re going to discuss what it takes to construct a worldwide presence.
Contrary to my self-proclaimed status as today’s professor, I’m not the industry’s most distinguished expert in product development or business operations. Much of what I know about catalyzing the growth of a burgeoning produce brand I learned from witnessing the evolution of Westfalia Fruit Marketing.
Since its entry into the United States in 2015, the provider has wielded its expansive network to rise as a leading supplier of fresh avocados. Through leadership transitions and other tactical developments, Westfalia Fruit reorganized its operations and established strategies focused on diversified supply chains, innovation, actionable sustainability, and delivering impeccable service to customers through its team of #avoexperts—as the company affectionately calls them.
“Westfalia opened for business in the U.S. in 2015, but it was founded over 70 years ago on environmental, social, governance, and sustainability principles that still guide us today across 15 countries,” explains Raina Nelson, who was introduced as the intercontinental operator’s Chief Executive Officer and President of North America in August of 2021. “Since then, we have continued to evolve into a global, vertically integrated company that grows and distributes premium avocados year-round across North America based on our mission ‘to do good.’”
For physical proof of the producer’s ceaseless Stateside expansion, look to the advancements implemented at its cutting-edge facilities. If you haven’t yet, you may want to return to your notes and highlight “geographical headway” as a critical element of international success.
Most recently, Westfalia increased ripening capacity at its Oxnard, California, facility, allowing the company to execute customized ripening programs for its partners. The supplier also scaled its distribution footprint in the Midwest and Southeast and anticipates further extending its infrastructure across the Eastern Seaboard, in addition to its Texas and Pennsylvania locations.
“Westfalia has the most diverse avocado cultivation portfolio in the world, and our research department is made up of a team of dedicated scientists and technicians that play a critical role in shaping the future of the global avocado industry,” Raina shares with me, illustrating how Westfalia’s avocados are grown and harvested in South Africa, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and California. “In addition to California, our North American distribution network includes Texas, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. Our sales offices are strategically located in Europe, North America, Latin America, and South Africa to manage the entire process, from sourcing the fruit to its transport through state-of-the-art warehouses, all the way to its final destination.”
After building itself into a well-known force in the fresh avocado sector, Westfalia Fruit now has plans to launch a new line of value-added, avocado-based products while exploring even more opportunities to expand its portfolio.
Priming itself for this upcoming boost, the avo titan is investing in new technologies to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, and introduce consumer-friendly avocado packaging. Still got some room on your notepad? I’d add “investments” to that growing list of brand strategies.
“Westfalia has the most diverse avocado cultivation portfolio in the world, and our research department is made up of a team of dedicated scientists and technicians that play a critical role in shaping the future of the global avocado industry.”
Raina Nelson, Chief Executive Officer and President of North America, Westfalia Fruit North America
“Westfalia is focused on investing in all areas of the avocado industry, from seed to plate. This includes climate-friendly cultivar development that yields high fruit productivity with reduced water use, as well as minimizing waste and plastics in our operations,” Raina explains. “The goal is to achieve lifetime carbon neutrality by 2049.”
This is a goal well within reach, as Westfalia Fruit has developed a comprehensive global sustainability strategy prioritizing the environment, local economies, and most importantly, its people.
“Across the globe, our fully integrated Westfalia family provides a path of purpose- and mission-driven values, loyalty, respect, and empowerment that is an extremely compelling reason to partner with Westfalia Fruit North America,” Raina emphasizes. “Our experienced sales team provides personal service and works in alignment with customers’ needs to fulfill the growing demand for avocados around the world.”
While Raina’s confident words mark the end of today’s course, there is much more to learn from this experienced CEO and the globe-sweeping operation she helps oversee.
In reality, if you’re tracking the progression of this prominent avocado supplier, class is always in session.