IRVINE, CALIF. - The California Avocado Commission (CAC) has instituted changes to its marketing plans, grower communications and office operations in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

CAC’s top priorities are safety throughout the supply chain and that the continuation of safe growing, harvesting and packing procedures. Commission staff have been tele-working since March 17 and have multiple ways of communication with avocado industry players in the state.  

“The commission has been extensively reevaluating each CAC activity in light of societal shifts and sensitivities and adjusting our activities as we strive to move forward in support of this year’s California avocado crop with the right messages, tone and method of delivery,” said Tom Bellamore, president of CAC. “Likewise, the obvious importance of retail sales and the constraints on the foodservice industry are driving daily decisions about how we allocate resources and support our valued customers.” 

The commission has shifted much of its outdoor advertising to video and digital communication, and the commission’s already existing digital programs are still going strong. CAC’s latest campaign, “The best avocados have California in them” will continue, although some marketing activity may be pushed to later in the year. 

California avocado growers have harvested nearly 46.7 million pounds this season through March 22, compared to 5.1 million pounds for the same time last year. CAC said that this growth is partially due to a larger crop but is also a result of increased consumer demand spurred by panic buying throughout the month of March.