Index Fresh has opened a new avocado processing and distribution facility in Pharr, Hidalgo County, Texas.

A ground-breaking ceremony took place in June 2017 and construction took approximately six months to complete.

The new facility will enable Index Fresh to expand its business both in the US and Mexican markets. It is also expected to have a positive impact on the local economy by creating 25 distribution, food safety, ripening and accounting jobs for the residents of Pharr.

Index Fresh is a producer and marketer of avocado fruit.

Index Fresh avocado facility location

Index Fresh’s new facility is located in Pharr Produce Park at 1,100 West Capote Central Avenue. It is the first facility of its kind to be constructed in the area.

Being located less than three miles (4.8km) to the east of McAllen in Texas and close to the US-Mexico border, Pharr is one of the chief entry points for produce entering the US from Mexico. The location enables Index Fresh to deliver their products in and out of Mexico and expand its business operations in the southwest region.

Index Fresh processing and distribution facility details

The new plant occupies a 60,000ft² area and comprises 2,600 pallet positions. It serves as an all-in-one centre for ripening, storage and distribution.

“Around 60% of Index Fresh’s avocado sources are in Mexico.”

The state-of-the-art facility features a bagging and repackaging area equipped with three bagging machines, ten ripening rooms and nine dock doors, all enclosed in a temperature-controlled environment.

The fully-expandable facility has multiple temperature zones to accommodate perishable foods.

The company’s growth over the past five years was taken into consideration during the design phase in order to build a facility that accommodates future growth. The design will enable Index Fresh to increase the facility size in the future without interrupting production.

Avocado sourcing

Around 60% of Index Fresh’s avocado sources are in Mexico.

The new processing facility is Index Fresh’s first location to source avocados from the region of Michoacan in Mexico and company will source 65% of its avocados from this area. In addition, around 20% will be sourced from California and the remaining from Peru and Chile.

Processing at Index Fresh Avocado facility

Avocados arriving at the plant are placed in ripening rooms to change their colour from dark green to a purple shade. Each room can fit 20 palettes of avocados and is equipped with bagging and packaging stations.

The layout of the building allows Index Fresh to ripen and produce more avocados in a smaller space compared with its other facilities.

Contractors involved

Cold storage designer and builder Tippmann Innovation (Ti) was contracted to design and build the new facility.

Marketing commentary on Index Fresh

Founded in 1914, Index Fresh is a producer and worldwide distributor of avocados to retail and food services markets. The company initially operated under the name Index Orchards and started its business with the distribution of lemons and oranges.

The company is headquartered in California, US, and operates facilities across the country, including the states of Kentucky, Colorado, Ohio and Illinois.

The firm’s distribution centres and pre-conditioning facilities are located in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, Colorado and Illinois.