(Web Editor’s note: The following article is updated coverage of news originally posted on our Web site on June 27. A longer version of the article appears in the July 2 print and digital editions of The Packer).

(June 29, UPDATED COVERAGE) Chile’s largest avocado grower-packer-shipper, Santiago-based Agricom Ltda., has entered into a marketing partnership with The Giumarra Cos., Los Angeles, to bolster Giumarra’s East Coast sales and significantly boost the company’s year-round supplies.

Giumarra has been importing avocados from Agricom and other Chilean growers for more than a decade, said Bruce Dowhan, general manager of Giumarra of Escondido.

Eximfruit, an annual analysis of Chilean fruit exports, reported Giumarra Bros. Fruit Co. and Rio Vista Ltd., a division of the company, imported more than 750,000 cartons of Chilean avocados in 2006.

Agricom exported 1.95 million cartons of avocados to North America last year, according to Eximfruit.

Dowhan said those totals do not accurately reflect the volume of avocados imported by The Giumarra Cos., that the volume was higher. He declined to reveal specific volumes.

“But the partnership will increase imports dramatically,” he said.

A few details remain unresolved. Whether all of Agricom’s North American avocados will be included is still being discussed, Dowhan said. Giumarra continues to market avocados from other Chilean growers.

Though Giumarra currently sells avocados year-round, Dowhan said, the partnership would offer customers a more-consistent supply of avocados from California, Mexico and Chile. The agreement minimizes price fluctuations for retailers and foodservice operators, he said.

“Giumarra will be able to put together long-term contract programs that will offer stabilized pricing,” he said. “It will take the volatility out of the equation.”