(Aug. 8) The Maui Fresh division of avocado industry giant Calavo Growers Inc., Santa Paula, Calif., has expanded its presence on the Los Angeles terminal market by forming a partnership with Platinum Produce, said Javier Badillo, Calavo’s director of diversified products.

The partnership will operate as one company under the name Maui Fresh International, Badillo said.

Francisco Clouthier, who was in charge of the Platinum Produce operation in Los Angeles, will remain as head of the new entity.

Cloutheir said Platinum Produce, a division of San Rafael Distributing Inc., Nogales, Ariz., is a 61–year-old company that handles a variety of commodities. Among them, he said, are chili peppers, bell peppers, eggplant, mangoes and grapes.

Badillo said the partnership would offer to retail and foodservice buyers a much larger inventory of products at the Los Angeles terminal market. He said the product offerings would include tropical fruits.

The operation also will provide on-site expansion at the terminal market for Calavo’s avocados and Hawaiian papayas, Badillo said.

Clouthier said the goal of the partnership is to provide a year-round supply of Maui Fresh International products. Promotional support will be available to retailers, he said.

Platinum Produce has been on the Los Angeles terminal market for five years, Clouthier said, with company-wide annual revenues in the range of $12 million to $15 million.