Corporate Governance

Calavo – A Letter From CEO Brian Kocher


Calavo – Letter by CEO

Here is Calavo’s fourth annual sustainability report, which details how we did in 2021 in terms of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Teams across Calavo have been working extra hard over the past few years to develop, enhance, and align sustainability operations to meet changing consumer, investor, and internal expectations. It is encouraging to see how far we have come and to realize that there is still more to do.

Calavo – 2021 Key Points

The electrification of our fleet of forklifts, continuous LED lighting upgrades, and involvement by several of our facilities in regional energy demand response programmes are just a few of the ways we keep looking for ways to minimize and optimize our energy use. We can both reduce our carbon footprint and guarantee that our local communities have reliable power sources by using less energy, especially during periods of peak demand when the grid is more prone to brownouts and blackouts. 
Calavo continues to invest in its operations and staff in Mexico, and starting salaries for 2021 will be at least 49% over the minimum wage. With a focus on gender inclusion in training and professional development, we were happy to achieve gender parity within senior management at our Mexican facilities. 
The first time we finished a thorough analysis of our waste streams across all of our U.S. activities was in 2021. It was a challenge to collaborate with so many providers, all of which had various approaches to measuring and reporting waste consequences. As a consequence of the findings, which demonstrate that we presently divert 69% of waste from landfill, we are better able to understand the disparities between our facilities and the greatest areas of opportunity as we move forward on our path to zero waste production.

Looking Forward

One of my top responsibilities when I became the company’s CEO in February 2022 was to make sure that our sustainability plan complemented Calavo’s corporate objectives and the concerns of our investors.  
The first step was to appoint a new corporate officer with formal authority over ESG. This action ensures that sustainability is integrated even more deeply into our business planning processes, even if ESG issues are frequently discussed at the highest levels of the organization. 
In order to fulfil increased stakeholder demands to more closely integrate sustainability and financial reporting, we started analyzing potential to improve the rigour, scope, and frequency of our ESG data management systems. We are keeping a close eye on how sustainability reporting frameworks and standards are developing, including upcoming regulations regarding climate disclosures and ESG management and oversight procedures. To standardize our data gathering procedures, expedite our response plans, and get closer to real-time sustainability data tracking, we’ll specifically integrate new technological solutions. 
Third, a strategic evaluation of our ESG programmes has been started. Informing longer-term investments in our operations, supply chain, product development, and human capital planning, we are creating a new vision and strategy that will lead us over the next ten years. By the end of 2022, we hope to share our updated ESG vision and strategy, key ESG priority areas, and concrete objectives.

A Crucial Aspect of “The Calavo Way” is Sustainability

The Calavo Way, our method of conducting business, aids in concentrating our efforts where they are most needed as we look to the future. Our company’s five core values—Quality, Innovation, Respect, Drive, and Stewardship—remind us that sustainability must be ingrained in every facet of operations and in every aspect of who we are as a company. When we work together, we can achieve this.