California avocado producer expands, refines and automates facilities

California avocado producer expands, refines and automates facilities

To ensure that all operations remain up to date with current technology and to address any precautionary measures in light of COVID-19, West Pak Avocado has made recent strides to expand the capabilities of its various facilities. 

“Continuous improvement through innovation and integrated systems are core to operating safely, efficiently, and within safe increases in anticipated volume here at West Pak,” explained West Pak Avocado Vice President of Operations Trevor Newhouse. “Between effectively processing year-round fruit and anticipating increased capacity at the height of the California season, last fiscal year, we identified critical opportunities to address our facilities to accommodate such needs.

“The original Cap-Ex (capital expenditure) plans were all pre-pandemic, but upon news of the international outbreak earlier this year, we stepped back to reevaluate our workflow, infrastructure, and additional safety measures. Understanding that our employees’ safety was at the forefront of every decision, we intensified all levels of sanitation programs, including handwashing and hygiene stations across all West Pak facilities. We also added protective dividers to separate employees along the packing line and installed newly designed HID based door systems, which require less human to human contact points. In addition, thermal detection camera systems and facial recognition software alert our internal staff of possible risk detection.

“Yet at the heart of our Operations department is always efficacy. We needed to ensure efficiencies were met, which could be costly to the company and, in turn, create potential slowdowns and possible food waste. Running additional shifts, adding automation, and updating equipment to further reduce unwarranted bottlenecks did the trick. Our continued expansion in new ripening rooms and cold storage capacities addressed safety, growth, and allowed Operations to continually meet key KPI indicators.”

As mentioned by Newhouse, many of the expansion and transformation efforts were centered around the company’s cold chain management systems. Installation of new cold docks, preconditioning rooms, and redundancy in infrastructure and systems were key. West Pak developed additional online services providing a data-driven platform to not only manage its new internal environmental needs but also highlight the company’s abilities to evaluate their performance in meeting both grower and customer requirements.

Keeping with its commitment for increased sustainability other West Pak operational upgrades included refrigerant conversions and migrating forklifts from lead-acid batteries to lithium-ion batteries. “As stated, continuous improvement entails environmental impact as well; this is also a core strategic area we focus on when enhancing anything we do,” mentioned Newhouse.

“West Pak is committed to our employee’s health and safety while continuing to grow our business,” added West Pak Avocado CEO Mario Pacheco. “With the completion of our recent expansion, we are well-positioned not only to support our customer’s growth in the years ahead but also to ensure the health and safety of our workers. We see it as part of our job to help keep Americans healthy. That’s why our commitment to supplying fresh avocados to our customers is as strong as ever.”

Courtesy: West Pak Avocado 

Sugar & Ethanol Africa 2020

Sugar & Ethanol Africa 2020

15 – 17 September 2020 Radisson Blu Hotel, Nairobi


Sugar markets and diversification

Insights into sugar prices, international trade dynamics and support for diversification of the African sugar industry.

Identify growth opportunities

Find out out where ethanol production and blending is on the rise across Africa, and who is investing in production facilities.

Intra-region and global trade dynamics

Identify supply gaps for the raw and white sugar trade, as well as for fuel and non-fuel ethanol.

Strategic issues for ethanol producers and millers

Meet millers from across Africa and find out how they are improving production and diversifying.

Ethanol Production Technology Workshop

Hear from industry experts about optimising ethanol operations, maximising production efficiency & implementing new technologies.

Hear from industry leaders

Sugar and Ethanol Africa is a unique opportunity to network and hear from key industry players from a region that offers huge potential for expansion and investment.

Click here for full event details

bauma CONEXPO AFRICA 2021: concept re-engineered

bauma CONEXPO AFRICA 2021: concept re-engineered

bauma CONEXPO AFRICA 2021: concept re-engineered

Africa’s key construction machinery trade show revamped with new opportunities for industry

bauma CONEXPO AFRICA, Sub Saharan Africa’s Leading Trade Fair for Construction, Building Material, Mining, Agriculture & Forestry Machines, Machinery and Vehicles will be back in South Africa in 2021 with a new look and an expanded focus, to deliver enhanced cross-sector growth opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Already the premier trade show for construction and mining machinery, bauma CONEXPO AFRICA will now also feature agricultural and forestry equipment and machinery. This will give government bodies, developers, contractors, industry associations, financiers and other sector stakeholders a one-stop overview of the latest services and solutions available across the infrastructure development, construction, forestry and agriculture value chain.

bauma CONEXPO AFRICA is one of Messe München’s six international bauma events, and is modelled on bauma in Munich, in collaboration with AEM, organizer of CONEXPO-CON/AGG. bauma is described as the ultimate trade fair in the industry, attracting over 620,000 international visitors while CONEXPO-CON/AGG is the leading industry exhibition in the North American market. As a gateway for international companies to the African market and for African enterprises to the global market, bauma CONEXPO AFRICA attracted around 15,000 high-level visitors and exhibitors in 2018 and expects these numbers to increase significantly in 2021.

Addressing Africa’s industry challenges

“Africa’s construction and infrastructure development sectors are facing economic challenges at the moment; therefore we have engaged industry leaders to discuss ways in which bauma CONEXPO AFRICA could more effectively support industry growth. As a result of their input, we have re-engineered this key event to foster greater cross-border collaboration and highlight business growth opportunities, and we will feature solutions that enable businesses to operate smarter and more cost-effectively,” says Suzette Scheepers, CEO of Messe Muenchen South Africa. “We have also revisited our sponsorship and exhibitor packages to deliver significant additional value.”

With an expanded African focus, bauma CONEXPO AFRICA plans to host buyer and diplomatic delegations from across sub-Saharan Africa, and to actively foster interaction and business exchange between the region’s governments and private sector.

The latest equipment and services

Among the solutions to be on show will be agricultural machinery and tractors, machinery and plants for the production of building material, construction and mining equipment, engineering services, occupational safety products and services, plant hire services, quantity surveying technologies, and forestry machinery.

High-level industry conference

In addition to showcasing the latest international products and solutions, bauma CONEXPO AFRICA will host a high-level industry conference, Africa Forum, focusing on trends, challenges and opportunities across sub-Saharan Africa. At the conference, industry experts will discuss key issues such as infrastructure investment, the ROI on public-private partnerships, and China’s role in mining and infrastructure in Africa.

Business-boosting supporting programme

bauma CONEXPO AFRICA will also feature a strong supporting programme including CPD accredited Workshops and Masterclasses, Tech Talk Forum sessions covering topical issues, product demonstrations and the University Innovation Awards. The trade show will also facilitate B2B meetings, dedicate sessions to women in industry, and will showcase up and coming entrepreneurs, giving them an opportunity to network with local and international industry leaders.

bauma CONEXPO AFRICA will be staged at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 13 – 16 October 2021. Discounted Early Bird exhibitor packages and comprehensive new sponsorship packages are now available. For more information, contact the South African office For international enquiries email




Issued by ITP Communications on behalf of Messe Muenchen SA. For further information please contact Leigh Angelo at or Tel: (011) 869 9153.

CMT’s 6th Commercial Farm Africa – Nairobi, KENYA 30-31 Oct, 2019

CMT’s 6th Commercial Farm Africa – Nairobi, KENYA 30-31 Oct, 2019

With Africa’s population set to double by 2050, experts say the continent must replace traditional farming methods in favour of modern technology. African agricultural industries have been hampered by multiple problems, including lack of best agricultural practices, high input costs, climate change, poor land tenure systems, and limited access to financing.

Public and private sectors are starting to invest more effort to transform Africa’s agricultural landscape. They include; modernizing farm operations through innovative technologies like  digital software, drones and precision farming tools, investing in agro related & value-added processing industries, and upgrading post-harvest storage facilities to boost farm productivity.

Agco Africa provides mechanization for key agriculture project in Mozambique –

Zimbabwe government signs a US $50m deal with John Deere for tractor supply –

Precision farming taking off in South Africa –

Lots of growth strategy plans have been announced by the African government authorities in setting up new farm lands to promote commercialization of the agricultural sector.

Commercial farming is garnering interests from local and international investors due to the emerging food processing sector which creates a strong market for farm owners.

Poland to invest in Tanzania’s agriculture sector through irrigation farming –

Chinese companies explore investment opportunities in agriculture and livestock sectors in Ethiopia –

Korean to invest 133bn /-in coffee plantation and processing plant –

Attend 6th Commercial Farm Africa Summit in Nairobi to address key challenges & explore new opportunities in this sector.

Key Sessions:

  • LMC forecasts price trends in grains, oil crops, cash crops
  • KENYAN MINISTRY OF LIVESTOCK, FISHERIES & AGRICULTURE presents country’s agricultural transformation & growth strategy
  • OLAM INTERNATIONAL assesses the impact of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) on agriculture
  • SGS shares how data capturing can enhance overall profitability of a farming operation
  • Case studies on application of regenerative agriculture for today’s climatic context by SOIL CAPITAL
  • [INTERACTIVE SESSION] Multistakeholder Dialogue: Access To Innovative Financing
  • KIPKEBE LTD on boosting the bottomline through farm mechanization
  • NOBEL AZANIA INVESTMENTS features a case study of large scale sisal farming in Tanzania
  • AFRO-TSION FARM reveals coffee plantation & processing plant investment projects in Ethiopia
  • HORIZON PLANTATION assesses the potential of commercial farm investment in Ethiopia
  • HYDROPONICS AFRICA speaks on revolutionizing crop farming through hydroponic systems & responsive drip irrigation
Sign up now with for early bird discounts. Send a group of 3 to enjoy further discounts.
For details of the event, please visit  
3rd Biomass Trade and BioEnergy Africa, 25-26 Sep, 2019 – Abidjan, COTE D’IVOIRE

3rd Biomass Trade and BioEnergy Africa, 25-26 Sep, 2019 – Abidjan, COTE D’IVOIRE

“Generating Energy, Electricity & Biomass Export in Africa!”

Quoting from a recent interview by Engineering News Online, EDF senior VP for Africa Valerie Levkov said, “As an example, she cites wind energy as a good solution for South Africa, whereas a biomass solution would be more suitable for a country such as Côte d’Ivoire, given its biomass potential.”

Each country in the continent has its own particular needs, financial capabilities and natural resources can be leveraged for sustainable renewable energy development.

Levkov further suggests that African countries should strongly consider biomass projects in the renewable energy space, adding that, on average, one biomass project can create up to 1 000 jobs in a rural region when taking into account the biomass supply chain.

“This is a very good example of the circular economy, where you bring in a lot of value first by developing a clean [or renewable] energy project and then by creating sustainable jobs and revenues for the local communities,” she says.

CMT’s 3rd Biomass Trade & BioEnergy Africa offers insights from two perspective – local development of biomass to electricity to meet the energy needs and potential trade/export opportunities of woody and agricultural biomass from Africa to the demand markets in Europe and North Asia.

Opportunities to utilize biomass & agricultural residues from Cocoa, Tea, Oil Palm as alternative renewable energy source in Africa
Promoting & funding options & strategies – Who, What, How
Case studies on industrial biomass boilers & cogeneration plant operation
Matching biomass availability with energy demand hotspots
From plantation to markets – biomass pellets/briquettes production & economics
Export prospect for African biomass
Supply chain development for wood pellets, biomass briquettes & PKS
The 1.5 days agenda aim to facilitate strategic partnerships amongst stakeholders such as biomass resources owners with the renewable projects developers, ECAs, engineering and turnkey solution experts, biomass and biofuels buyers and traders. Delegates will get a clearer view on the resources competition landscape and identify new opportunities.

Register with your team today at to enjoy group discount. Contact for more information.

Click here for more event information –

FoodNext.Africa | CTICC, Cape Town | 10 – 11 September 2019

FoodNext.Africa | CTICC, Cape Town | 10 – 11 September 2019

Now in its 3rd series, FoodNext.Africa is dedicated to capturing the conversation around food disruption across the value chain from farm-to-fork. Focused on creating sustainable food systems, new products, fortified innovative distribution models and the latest consumer adoption driving retail.

The event is curated around an agenda of critical debate – hosted by business leaders and innovators providing insights into embracing market changes, scaling up new projects and meeting the rapidly evolving needs of consumers.

“FoodNext Johannesburg 2019 was so informative. Planned to attend, do my panel presentation and head out to work. Innovative products presentations from young business owners kept me in my seat. I left the event inspired and realised that the pie is big enough for all of us. Find your passion, work at it and brighten that corner. It’s possible…”
Matlou Setati, Executive: Food Safety Initiative, Consumer Goods Council of South Africa

Featured sessions
Keynote address: Moving from sustainability to regeneration – Transforming a food system from agriculture to industry
Ingredient innovation – How is innovations driving ‘next generation’ products within the f&b sector?
Foodwaste – How is innovation creating smart solutions?
What will food retail and delivery look like in 2030?
The future of snacking – What are consumers craving?
Gut health: Is fortified foods driving good digestive health?
The ‘Green Rush’ – Is cannabis food’s next functional ingredient?
Click here to view the programme

Featured Speakers
Donovan Will, Director, ProVeg
Jessica Katlowitz, Registered Dietitian, The Green Dietitian
Nicola Jenkin, Director, Pinpoint Sustainability
Prof. Suzan Oelofse, Research Group Leader: Waste Department, CSIR
Prof. Olaniyi Amos Fawole, Senior Researcher: Postharvest Horticulture Research, SA Chair in Postharvest Technology, Department of Horticultural Science, University of Stellenbosch
Sanjeev Raghubir, Group Sustainability Manager, Shoprite & Checkers
Sam Smout, Waste Sector Desk Analyst, Green Cape
Peter Daniel, Director, Superfoods
Paul Simon, Founder & CEO, Uber Flavour
Dr. Harris Steinman, Medical Doctor, Food & Allergy Consulting & Testing Services

For more information click here to visit the FoodNext.Africa website