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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2022

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Commission file number: 000-33385

CALAVO GROWERS, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

California

33-0945304

(State of other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

1141-A Cummings Road, Santa Paula, CA

93060

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip code)

Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (805) 525-1245

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Name Of Each Exchange

Title of Each Class

Trading Symbol(s)

On Which Registered

Common Stock, $0.001 Par Value per Share

CVGW

Nasdaq Global Select Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes No

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.

Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically; every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.0405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer 

Accelerated filer 

Non-accelerated filer 

Smaller reporting company 

Emerging growth company 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes No

Based on the closing price as reported on The Nasdaq Global Select Market, the aggregate market value of the Registrant's common stock held by non-affiliates on April 30, 2022 (the last business day of the Registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was approximately $0.6 billion. Shares of common stock held by each executive officer and director and by each shareholder affiliated with a director or an executive officer have been excluded from this calculation because such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes. The number of outstanding shares of the Registrant's common stock as of November 30, 2022 was 17,731,661.

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Portions of the Registrant's Proxy Statement for the 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which we intend to hold in late April, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K. The definitive Proxy Statement will be filed within 120 days after October 31, 2022.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT

This Annual Report on Form 10-K, including “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Item 7, contains statements relating to future events and results of Calavo Growers, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries (collectively, Calavo, the Company, we, us or our), including certain projections and business trends, that are "forward-looking statements," as defined in the Private Securities Litigation and Reform Act of 1995, that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These statements are based on our current expectations and are not promises or guarantees. If any of the risks or uncertainties ever materialize or the assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Calavo may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, any projections of revenue, gross profit, expenses, income/(loss) from unconsolidated entities, earnings, earnings per share, tax provisions, cash flows and currency exchange rates; the impact of COVID-19 on our business, results of operations and financial condition; the impact of acquisitions or debt or equity investments or other financial items; any statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations, including execution of restructuring and integration (including information technology systems integration) plans; any statements regarding current or future macroeconomic trends or events and the impact of those trends and events on Calavo and its financial performance; any statements regarding pending investigations, legal claims or tax disputes; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements about future risks associated with doing business internationally (including possible restrictive U.S. and foreign governmental actions, such as restrictions on transfers of funds, restrictions as a result of COVID-19 and trade protection measures such as import/export/customs duties, tariffs and/or quotas).

Risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: the ability of our new management team, including future additions, to work together successfully; the impact of Project Uno initiatives discussed in this Annual Report on our business, results of operations, and financial condition, including uncertainty as to whether the desired effects will be achieved; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, results of operations, and financial condition, including, but not limited to, disruptions in the manufacturing of our products and the operations of the related supply chains supporting our ability to deliver our products to consumers, impacts on our employees and uncertainty regarding our ability to implement health and safety measures for our employees, uncertainties regarding consumer demand for our products, impact on our foodservice customers, increased costs, the impact of governmental trade restrictions imposed as a result of COVID-19 and the possible adverse impact of COVID-19 on our goodwill and other intangible assets; our ability to raise prices, particularly in our Prepared segment, to offset increases in costs of goods sold, and the impact of such price increases on future net sales; seasonality of our business; sensitivity of our business to changes in market prices of avocados and other agricultural products and other raw materials including fuel, packaging and paper;  potential disruptions to our supply chain; risks associated with potential future acquisitions, including integration; potential exposure to data breaches and other cyber-attacks on our systems or those of our suppliers or customers; dependence on large customers; dependence on key personnel, including personnel that have not yet been hired, and access to labor necessary for us to render services; susceptibility to wage inflation; potential for labor disputes; reliance on co-packers for a portion of our production needs; competitive pressures, including from foreign growers; risks of recalls and food-related injuries to our customers; changing consumer preferences; the impact of environmental regulations, including those related to climate change; risks associated with the environment and climate change, especially as they may affect our sources of supply; our ability to develop and transition new products and services and enhance existing products and services to meet customer needs; risks associated with doing business internationally (including possible restrictive U.S. and foreign governmental actions, such as restrictions on transfers of funds and restrictions as a result of COVID-19 and trade protection measures such as import/export/customs duties, tariffs and/or quotas and currency fluctuations); risks associated with receivables from, loans to and/or equity investments in unconsolidated entities; volatility in the value of our common stock; the impact of macroeconomic trends and events; and the resolution of pending investigations, legal claims and tax disputes, including an assessment imposed by the Mexican Tax Administrative Service (the “SAT”) and our defenses against collection activities commenced by the SAT.

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PART I

Item 1. Business

General development of the business

Calavo Growers, Inc. (Calavo, the Company, we, us or our), is a global leader in the avocado industry and a provider of value-added fresh food. Our expertise in marketing and distributing avocados, prepared avocado products, and other perishable foods allows us to deliver a wide array of fresh and prepared food products to retail grocery, foodservice, club stores, mass merchandisers, food distributors and wholesalers on a worldwide basis. We procure avocados from California, Mexico and other growing regions around the world. Through our various operating facilities, we (i) sort, pack, and/or ripen avocados, tomatoes and/or Hawaiian grown papayas, (ii) process and package guacamole and salsa and (iii) create, process and package a portfolio of healthy fresh foods including fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, and prepared foods including sandwiches, salads, parfaits and ready-to-eat snack items among other products. We distribute our products both domestically and internationally.

On April 13, 2022, the Company announced its plans to reorganize its business into two reporting segments, Grown and Prepared. The management transition to operate as Grown and Prepared began at the start of the third quarter of 2022. The Grown segment consists of fresh avocados, tomatoes and papayas. The Prepared segment comprises all other products including fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, ready-to-eat sandwiches, wraps, salads and snacks, guacamole, and salsa sold at retail and food service as well as avocado pulp sold to foodservice. See Note 10 in our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further information about our business segments. Our principal executive offices are located at 1141-A Cummings Road, Santa Paula, California 93060; telephone (805) 525-1245.

Available information

We maintain an Internet website at http://www.calavo.com. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to such reports filed or furnished pursuant to section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and other information related to us, are available, free of charge, on our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file those documents with, or otherwise furnish them to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Our Internet website and the information contained therein, or connected thereto, is not and is not intended to be incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this Annual Report).

We have a code of business conduct and ethics that applies to all employees, including our executive officers, as well as our Board of Directors. Our code of business conduct and ethics is available for review on our corporate website. We intend to disclose any changes in, or waivers from, this code by posting such information on the same website or by filing a Form 8-K, in each case to the extent such disclosure is required by rules of the SEC or Nasdaq.

Grown

Calavo was founded in 1924 to market California avocados. We sell avocados sourced from a variety of locations (including but not limited to California, Mexico, Peru, and Colombia) to a diverse group of retail grocers, foodservice operators, club stores, mass merchandisers, food distributors and wholesalers, under the Calavo family of brand labels, as well as private labels. Many of our customers desire consistent year-round supply across multiple sourcing locations, the ability to receive just-in-time deliveries at their desired level of ripeness and a variety of packaging and display options. In our judgment, these factors benefit large handlers like us, which have the ability to cultivate a variety of diverse sourcing relationships and the value-added/bagging capabilities, ripening assets and distribution infrastructure to meet the needs of these large nationwide accounts. We believe we have developed strong, long-term relationships with our customers that provide a solid base for our business.

The Hass variety is the predominant avocado variety marketed on a worldwide basis. In California, the growing area stretches from San Diego County to Monterey County, with the majority of the growing areas located approximately 100

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miles north and south of Los Angeles County. Generally, California grown Hass avocados are available year-round, with peak production periods occurring from April through August. In Mexico, we procure fruit from the growing regions of Michoacán and Jalisco. The Mexican avocado harvest is year-round (though generally most significant from September to June in Michoacán and from June to January for Jalisco). Other significant growing areas from which we have sourced avocados include Peru and Colombia. In fiscal 2022, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the export of Jalisco avocados into the United States. The storage life of fresh avocados (once picked from the tree) is limited, typically ranging from one to four weeks depending upon the maturity of the fruit, the growing methods used, and the handling conditions in the distribution chain, including the utilization of controlled atmosphere during transport.

Avocados delivered to our packinghouses are graded, sized, packed and cooled. The actual size and timing of the delivery of the annual avocado crop, has a substantial impact on both our costs and the sales price we receive for the fruit. To that end, our field personnel maintain direct contact with growers and farm managers and coordinate harvest plans. The feedback from our field-managers is used by our sales department to prepare sales plans used by our direct sales force. The process by which avocados are purchased from growers differs slightly across our different sourcing regions. In California, avocado growers are provided daily field quotes, on a per pound basis, for most fruit. These quotes are based on the variety, size, and grade of California avocados and are calculated based on our expectations of how much we believe we will sell the fruit for, less our anticipated costs and desired margin. Ultimately, we pay/settle with our California growers once a month. The purchase price we pay for fruit acquired from Mexican growers is generally negotiated for substantially all the fruit in a particular grove.  The Mexican avocado crop will typically have three to four blooms in a single year. Once a purchase price is agreed to on a daily basis, the fruit is then harvested and delivered to our packinghouses located in Mexico. Based on the size and quality of the fruit harvested, the final settlement with the grower on the respective day’s harvest takes place approximately 14 to 21 days later. We also purchase fruit directly from third-party Mexican packers as a supplemental source to balance inventory or fulfill priority sales orders. In such cases, the already packed fruit may not be packed in a Calavo label but will be packed to our standards for shipment to either our customers’ or our operating facilities. Peruvian and Colombian avocados are primarily handled on a consignment basis, in which the price we pay for the fruit is usually calculated as a percentage of the net selling price less certain charges for distribution and value-added services.

Apart from the cost of fruit and freight costs, which are generally passed on to our customer, significant portions of our avocado handling costs are fixed. As a result, significant fluctuations in the volume of avocados delivered have a considerable impact on the per pound packing costs of avocados we handle. Generally, larger crops will result in a lower per pound handling cost. As a result of our investment in packinghouse equipment, distribution centers with value-added ripening and packing capabilities, and personnel, we believe that our cost structure is geared to optimally handle larger avocado crops. We believe that our continued success in marketing avocados is largely dependent upon securing a reliable, high-quality supply of avocados at reasonable prices, and keeping the handling costs low as we ship avocados to our packinghouses and distribution centers and, ultimately, customers. We are subject to USDA, Mexican Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food/Plant Protection (SAGARPA) and other regulatory inspections to ensure the safety and the quality of the fruit being delivered.

We have also developed a series of value-added programs that are designed to offer products and services to our customers that meet their various needs. Some of these key programs are as follows:

Value-Added Ripening: Retailers require that their avocados meet strict quality and ripeness specifications and we believe that our nationwide ripening infrastructure using the latest technology and experienced avocado handling workforce best position us to service those customers. We believe that ripened avocados help our customers fulfill customer needs and accelerate the sale of avocados through their stores.

Value-Added Packaging: We have developed various display techniques and packages that appeal to consumers and, in particular, impulse buyers. Some of our techniques include the bagging of avocados and the strategic display of the bags within the produce section of retail stores. Our research has demonstrated that consumers generally purchase a larger quantity of avocados when presented in a bag as opposed to the conventional bulk displays. We also believe that the value proposition of avocados in a bag provides for a higher level of sales to grocery stores.

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The avocado market is highly competitive with many avocado marketers and/or importers, such as Calavo, seeking to source avocados from independent, USDA certified growers worldwide. Based on the information we have from various industry sources, we believe that Calavo is consistently among the largest avocado marketers in the United States (US) from a volume, sales and profitability perspective. We attribute our position as one of the top avocado distributors to our sourcing competitiveness and to the communication and service we maintain with our growers. In addition, we believe our diversified, product assortment, consistent product quality and value-added programs provide us with a competitive advantage in servicing retail and foodservice customers.

Our Grown business segment also markets and distributes other perishable food products, such as tomatoes and papayas (Other Fresh Products). Tomatoes are primarily handled on a consigned basis, while papayas are handled on a pooling basis, generally at a fixed fee per papaya delivered. Sales of our Other Fresh Products generally experience fluctuations related to seasonality. We believe our efforts in distributing other types of fruit complement our offerings of avocados.

Prepared

Prepared products include prepared avocado products (including both frozen and fresh guacamole), salsa, fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, fresh prepared entrée salads, wraps, sandwiches, parfaits and fresh snacking products, as well as ready-to-heat entrees and other hot bar and various deli items, meals kit components and salad kits. Convenient, ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables have continued to grow faster than their broader produce categories as consumers increasingly place value on the convenient nature of these products. Our Prepared segment has also expanded its capacity to provide products for a larger portion of the fresh deli department.

Our Prepared segment consists of our prepared avocado products division and our fresh-cut division. We utilize ultra-high pressure technology equipment on all of our guacamole products, which is designed to protect and safeguard foods, without the need of preservatives.  This procedure substantially destroys the cells of any bacteria that could lead to spoilage, food safety, or oxidation issues, without affecting the taste profile of the finished product.  Once the procedure is complete, our packaged guacamole can be frozen to ensure a longer shelf-life or shipped fresh to customers in the U.S and abroad.  While the majority of our prepared avocado products are produced in our Uruapan, Mexico production facility, we also often utilize high-quality co-packers (using similar ultra-high pressure technology), to produce some of our retail and foodservice products.

As a leader in refrigerated fresh packaged foods, we utilize a network of company-operated and independently-operated USDA and organic certified fresh food facilities strategically located across the U.S. These facilities allow us to offer national retailers high quality, refrigerated fresh foods that can generally be delivered within hours from time of production. Consumer demand is high for quality refrigerated fresh packaged foods and our speed to market, product innovation and broad product portfolio position the Company well to serve retailers addressing this consumer trend. Our prepared products include fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, fresh prepared entrée salads, wraps, sandwiches, parfaits and fresh snacking products, as well as ready-to-heat entrees and other hot bar and various deli items, meals kits and related components and salad kits. Our products are marketed under the Garden Highway Fresh Cut, Garden Highway, and Garden Highway Chef Essentials brands, as well as store-brand, private label programs.

For fiscal 2023, with plans to invest in added capacity, we believe our capacity will be sufficient for our expected growth. We believe that our marketing strength is distinguished by providing quality products, innovation, year-round product availability, strategically located warehouses, and market relationships.

Sales and Other Financial Information by Business Segment and Product Category

Sales and other financial information by business segment are provided in Note 10 to our consolidated financial statements that are included in this Annual Report.

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Patents and Trademarks

Our trademarks include the Calavo brand name and related logos. We also utilize the following trademarks in conducting our business: Avo Fresco, Bueno, Calavo Gold, Calavo Salsa Lisa, Salsa Lisa, Celebrate the Taste, El Dorado, Fresh Ripe, Select, Taste of Paradise, The First Name in Avocados, Tico, Mfresh, Maui Fresh International, Triggered Avocados, ProRipeVIP™, RIPE NOW!, Renaissance Food Group, Garden Highway Fresh Cut, Garden Highway, and Garden Highway Chef Essentials.

Working Capital Requirements

We generally bridge the timing between vendor payments and customer receipts (our working capital needs) by using operating cash flows and commercial bank borrowings. In addition, from time to time we provide crop loans and other advances to some of our growers, which are also funded through operating cash flows and borrowings.

Backlog

Our Grown and Prepared customers do not place product orders significantly in advance of the requested product delivery dates.

Research and Development

Our research and development for new and improved products, which is generally driven by customer requests, changes in product specifications, customer and market research and/or innovative ideas generated by our own team of experts with food processing and culinary backgrounds.  We solicit customer and supplier input, review process and product trends and conduct sensory and shelf life testing, all to expand the category and drive new sales for our customers. Research and development costs are charged to expense when incurred. Total research and development costs for fiscal years 2022, 2021 and 2020 were approximately $0.1 million, $0.3 million and $0.7 million.

Compliance with Government Regulations

As a purchaser, manufacturer, distributor, marketer, and advertiser of food products, our operations are subject to extensive regulation by various federal government agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the USDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as well as state and local agencies, with respect to production processes, product attributes, packaging, labeling, storage and distribution. Under various statutes and regulations, these agencies prescribe requirements and establish standards for the distribution, safety, purity and labeling of food products. In addition, our operations are subject to certain employment health and safety regulations, including those issued under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). Our packinghouse facilities and products are subject to periodic inspection by federal, state and local authorities, including the FDA and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CFDA), which oversees weights & measures compliance at our California facilities. All of our US facilities are also in compliance with the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In addition, our operations in Mexico are subject to Mexican regulations through the SAGARPA.

As a large importer of perishable products in the US, Calavo was an early adopter of the U.S. Customs & Border Protection’s C-TPAT certification programs for monitoring and expediting all imports to the US.

As a purchaser and manufacturer of perishable agricultural commodities, we are subject to, and compliant with, USDA’s Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. Certain agricultural commodities sold by Calavo are subject to additional specific government acts or regulations, including the Hass Avocado Promotion, Research and Information Act of 2000 for our avocados and the federal suspension agreement guidelines which govern tomato imports to the US.

As a result of our agricultural and food processing activities, we are subject to numerous environmental laws and regulations. These laws and regulations govern the treatment, handling, storage and disposal of materials and waste and the remediation of contaminated properties.

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We seek to comply at all times with all such laws and regulations and to obtain any necessary permits and licenses, and we are not aware of any instances of material non-compliance. We believe our facilities and practices are sufficient to maintain compliance with applicable governmental laws, regulations, permits and licenses.

Employees

As of October 31, 2022, we had 3,266 employees, of which 1,464 were located in the United States and 1,802 were located in Mexico. We do not have a significant number of United States employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Approximately 1,600 of Calavo's Mexican employees are represented by a union. We consider the relationship with our employees to be good and we have never experienced a significant work stoppage.

The following is a summary of the number of "salaried" and "hourly" employees as of October 31, 2022.

Location

    

Salaried

    

Hourly

    

Total

United States

 

331

 

1,133

 

1,464

Mexico

 

217

 

1,585

 

1,802

TOTAL

 

548

 

2,718

 

3,266

Item 1A. Risk Factors

You should carefully consider the following risks and other information in this Form 10-K. Any of the following risks could materially and adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition. The following risk factors should be read in conjunction with Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes in Part II, Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K.

Business and Operational Risks

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting worldwide economic conditions adversely affected, and may continue to adversely affect, our business operations, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Manufacturing and Supply Chain Disruption

Outbreaks of contagious diseases, including the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and pandemic, and other adverse public health developments in countries and states where we operate, have had and may continue to have an adverse effect on our business and financial condition, as well as cause operational challenges in the manufacturing of our products and the operation of the related supply chains supporting our ability to deliver our products to the consumer. These effects include a potential negative impact on the availability of our key personnel; disruptions of our facilities or facilities of our members, business partners, customers, suppliers, third-party service providers or other vendors; and interruption of domestic and global supply chains, distribution channels, liquidity and capital or financial markets. Restrictions on or disruptions of transportation, border controls and closures, and other impacts on domestic and global supply chains and distribution channels could increase our costs for raw materials and commodity costs, increase demand for raw materials and commodities from competing purchasers, limit our ability to meet customer demand or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operation or cash flows.

Costs to Confront the COVID-19 Pandemic

We have incurred and may in the future incur increased costs related to overtime and sick pay, government mandated employee leave related to pandemic conditions, incremental pay for working under challenging conditions, temporary employees, temporary facility closures, sanitizing the work environment, and overall increased safety measures. We have implemented health and safety measures to protect our employees and will continue to take precautionary measures to help minimize the risk of COVID-19 to our employees. Some of these precautionary measures, and similar precautionary measures that we may take in the future, may result in additional costs. Our operating results may be adversely affected if we fail to adequately manage these costs or if we experience significant unexpected costs in the future.

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The ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operations and financial performance depends on many factors that are not within our control. If we are unable to successfully manage our business through the challenges and uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic, our business and operating results could be materially adversely affected.

If the COVID-19 pandemic or other factors result in prolonged adverse impacts on our operating results, our goodwill and other intangible assets may be at risk of impairment.

We have significant goodwill and intangibles balances recorded with respect to our Prepared reporting unit, which we periodically review for impairment. These assets are sensitive to any significant changes in related results of operations of the underlying businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic has had adverse effects on the Prepared reporting unit, although no impairment of the related goodwill and intangibles balances has occurred during the year ended October 31, 2022. We cannot, however, predict the effects that any continued adverse conditions from the pandemic or other factors may have on the future impairment of these assets.

The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the current economic climate are increasing labor costs, commodity costs and logistical costs, each of which has adversely affected our business operations and results of operations and may continue to do so in the future. Our efforts to raise prices may not be sufficient to offset these cost increases and may have other adverse effects.

We have experienced operational challenges in our production facilities and logistics networks, shortage of labor and impacts from increases in prices of petroleum-based products, packaging materials and commodities, all of which are increasing costs companywide.

In response to the inflationary costs described above, we have implemented price increases and may implement additional price increases in the future. Customers may not accept price increases or we may face competitive pressure that leads to price reductions for certain products.

Increases in interest rates could increase the cost of servicing our indebtedness and have an adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and stock price.

 

Our credit facility currently bears interest at a variable rate, which will generally change as interest rates change. We also have various leases, and may enter into future equipment leases, with costs that increase as interest rates increase.  We bear the risk that the rates we are charged by our lenders and lessors will increase faster than the earnings and cash flow of our business, which could reduce profitability, adversely affect our ability to service our debt, or cause us to breach covenants contained in our credit agreement or leases, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Increases in interest rates may also affect consumer purchasing behavior, including for our fresh and processed food products.

 

Additionally, the trading price of our common stock may be affected by the dividend yield on our common stock relative to market interest rates. When market interest rates rise, prospective purchasers of our common stock may expect a higher dividend yield. We may not be able to, or we may not choose to, provide a higher dividend yield in such instances. As a result, prospective purchasers may decide to purchase other securities rather than shares of our common stock, which would reduce the demand for, and potentially result in a decline in the market price of, shares of our common stock.

Due to the seasonality of the business, our revenue and operating results may vary from quarter to quarter.

Our earnings may be affected by seasonal factors, including:

the availability, quality and price of raw materials (including, but not limited to fruit and vegetable inputs);

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the timing and effects of ripening and perishability;
the ability to process perishable raw materials in a timely manner;
the leveraging of certain fixed overhead costs during off-season months; and
the impacts on consumer demand based on seasonal and holiday timing.

Our earnings are sensitive to fluctuations in market prices and demand for our products.

Excess supplies often cause severe price competition in our industry. Growing conditions in various parts of the world, particularly weather conditions such as rainfall, hailstorms, windstorms, floods, droughts, wildfires and freezes, as well as diseases and pests, are primary factors affecting market prices because of their influence on the supply and quality of product.

Fresh produce is highly perishable and generally must be brought to market and sold soon after harvest. The selling price received for each type of produce depends on factors such as the availability and quality of the produce item in the market and the availability and quality of competing types of produce.

 

In addition, general public perceptions regarding the quality, safety or health risks associated with particular food products could reduce demand and prices for some of our products. Food safety warnings, advisories, notices and recalls such as those administered by the FDA, CDC, other federal/state government agencies and/or suppliers of various agricultural products, could also reduce demand and/or prices for some of our products. To the extent that consumers stop purchasing products that we produce due to health, food safety or other reasons, and we are unable to modify our products or to develop products that satisfy new consumer preferences, there will be a decreased demand for our products.

Increases in commodity or raw product input costs, such as fuel, packaging, and paper, could adversely affect our operating results.

Many factors may affect the cost and supply of fresh produce, including external conditions, commodity market fluctuations, currency fluctuations, changes in governmental laws and regulations, the war in Ukraine or conflict elsewhere, agricultural programs, severe and prolonged weather conditions and natural disasters. Increased costs for purchased fruit have in the past negatively impacted our operating results, and there can be no assurance that they will not adversely affect our operating results in the future.

The price of various commodities can affect our costs. Fuel and transportation cost is a significant component of the price of much of the produce that we purchase from growers, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to pass on to our customers any increased costs we incur in these respects.

The cost of paper is also significant to us as most of our products are packed in cardboard boxes. If the price of paper increases and we are not able to effectively pass these price increases along to our customers, then our operating income will decrease.

We depend on our infrastructure to have sufficient capacity to handle our annual production needs.

Our infrastructure has sufficient capacity for our production needs, including investments we expect to make to facilitate growth, but if we lose machinery or facilities due to natural disasters or mechanical failure, we may not be able to operate at a sufficient capacity to meet our production needs and we may incur significant costs or delays in any effort to restore lost capacity. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Failure to optimize our supply chain or disruption of our supply chain could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In coordination with our suppliers, our ability to make, move and sell products is critical to our success. Our inability to maintain sufficient internal production capacity or our inability to enter into co-packing agreements on terms that are

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beneficial to us could have an adverse effect on our business. Failure to adequately handle increasing production costs and complexity, turnover of manufacturing personnel, or production capability and efficiency issues could materially impact our ability to produce our products in a cost-effective manner and meet customer demand.

Additionally, damage or disruption to our collective manufacturing or distribution capabilities resulting from weather, any potential effects of climate change, natural disaster, disease, crop spoilage, fire or explosion, terrorism, organized crime, pandemics, strikes, repairs or enhancements at our facilities, or other reasons, could impair our ability to manufacture or sell our products. Failure to take adequate steps to mitigate the likelihood or potential impact of such events, or to effectively manage such events if they occur, could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, and may require additional resources to restore our supply chain.

Disruption of the supply or reliability of transportation services and/or significant increases in the cost of these services could impact our operating income.

We use multiple forms of transportation to bring our products to market, including truck, ocean, and air-cargo. Disruption to the timely supply of these services or dramatic increases in the cost of these services for any reason including availability of fuel for such services, labor disputes, governmental regulation, or governmental restrictions limiting specific forms of transportation could have an adverse effect on our ability to serve our customers and could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The acquisition of other businesses could pose risks to our operating income.

We intend to review acquisition prospects that would complement our business. While we are not currently a party to any definitive agreement with respect to any acquisitions, we may acquire other businesses in the future. Future acquisitions by us could result in accounting charges, potentially dilutive issuances of equity securities, and increased debt and contingent liabilities, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and the market price of our common stock. Acquisitions involve numerous risks, including the integration of the acquired operations, diversion of management’s attention to other business concerns, risks of entering markets in which we have limited prior experience, and the potential loss of key employees of acquired organizations. We may be unable to successfully integrate businesses or the personnel of any business that might be acquired in the future, and our failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business and on the market price of our common stock. Management’s attention, or other resources, may be diverted if we fail to successfully complete or integrate business combination and investment transactions that further our strategic objectives.

System security risks, data protection breaches, cyber-attacks and systems integration issues could disrupt our internal operations or services provided to customers, and any such disruption could reduce our expected revenue, increase our expenses, damage our reputation and adversely affect our stock price.

Experienced computer programmers and hackers may be able to penetrate our network security and misappropriate or compromise our confidential information or that of third parties, create system disruptions or cause shutdowns. For example, in 2019, certain of our computer systems became encrypted by ransomware, which prevented them from operating for a time. Computer programmers and hackers also may be able to develop and deploy viruses, worms, and other malicious software programs that attack our systems or otherwise exploit any security vulnerabilities of our systems. In addition, sophisticated hardware and operating system software and applications that we procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture, including “bugs” and other problems that could unexpectedly interfere with the operation of the system. The costs to us to eliminate or alleviate cyber or other security problems, bugs, viruses, worms, malicious software programs and security vulnerabilities could be significant, and our efforts to address these problems may not be successful and could result in interruptions, delays, cessation of service and loss of existing or potential customers that may impede our sales, manufacturing, distribution or other critical functions. We carry insurance, including cyber insurance, commensurate with our size and the nature of our operations, although there is no certainty that such insurance will in all cases be sufficient to fully reimburse us for all losses incurred in connection with the occurrence of any of these system security risks, data protection breaches, cyber-attacks or other events.

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Portions of our IT infrastructure may also experience interruptions, delays or cessations of service, or produce errors in connection with systems integration or migration work that takes place from time to time. We may not be successful in implementing new systems and transitioning data, which could cause business disruptions and be more expensive, time consuming, disruptive and resource-intensive. Such disruptions could adversely impact our ability to fulfill orders and interrupt other processes.

The loss of one or more of our largest customers, or a reduction in the level of purchases made by these customers, could negatively impact our sales and profits.

Sales to Kroger, Trader Joes, and Wal-mart, our largest customers, amounted to approximately 15% , 11% and 10% of our total net sales in 2022. We expect that a significant portion of our revenues will continue to be derived from a relatively small number of customers. We believe these customers make purchase decisions based on a combination of price, product quality, consumer demand, customer service performance, desired inventory levels and other factors that may be important to them at the time the purchase decisions are made. Changes in our customers' strategies or purchasing patterns, including a reduction in the number of brands they carry, may adversely affect our sales. Additionally, our customers may face financial or other difficulties which may impact their operations and cause them to reduce their level of purchases from us, which could adversely affect our results of operations. Customers also may respond to any price increase that we may implement by reducing their purchases from us, resulting in reduced sales of our products. If sales of our products to one or more of our largest customers are reduced, this reduction may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. Any bankruptcy or other business disruption involving one of our significant customers also could adversely affect our results of operations.

We may not be successful in achieving targeted savings and efficiencies from cost reduction initiatives and related strategic initiatives, including Project Uno.

During the third quarter of 2021, we launched Project Uno, a strategic set of initiatives that seeks to identify areas of operating efficiencies and cost savings to expand profit margins, cash flow and return on invested capital. We have undertaken multiple productivity and transformation initiatives, including (1) closure and transfer of certain facilities, (2) implementing broader supply chain operational improvements, (3) integrating our commercial, logistics, IT, procurement and accounting functions across the three divisions, (4) product rationalization initiatives which are aimed at eliminating unprofitable or slow moving SKUs and (5) outsourcing certain functions in our North American business to third-party service providers and the associated implementation of new procurement technology solutions.

We may not be successful in fully implementing our productivity plans or realizing our anticipated savings and efficiencies, including potentially as a result of factors outside our control. If we are unable to fully realize the anticipated savings and efficiencies of our cost reduction initiatives and related strategic initiatives, including Project Uno, our profitability may be materially and adversely impacted.

Holders of our common stock may not receive the level of dividends provided for in our dividend policy or any dividends at all.

Dividend payments are not mandatory or guaranteed and holders of our common stock do not have any legal right to receive, or require us to pay, dividends. Our Board of Directors may, in its sole discretion, decrease the level of dividends provided for in our dividend policy or entirely discontinue the payment of dividends. Future dividends with respect to shares of our capital stock, if any, depend on, among other things, our results of operations, cash requirements, financial condition, contractual restrictions (including restrictions in our credit agreement), business opportunities, provisions of applicable law (including certain provisions of the California Corporations Code) and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant.

If our cash flows from operating activities were to fall below our minimum expectations (or if our assumptions as to capital expenditures or interest expense were too low or our assumptions as to the sufficiency of our credit facility were to prove incorrect), we may need to either reduce or eliminate dividends.

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We have in the past had and may in the future incur substantial indebtedness which could restrict our ability to pay dividends and impact our financing options and liquidity position.

Our ability to pay dividends is subject to restrictions contained in the instruments governing our indebtedness. Additionally, although our credit agreement contains covenants that restrict our ability to incur debt, as long as we meet these covenants, we will be able to incur additional indebtedness. The degree to which we are leveraged on a consolidated basis could have important consequences to the holders of our securities, including:

our ability in the future to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures or acquisitions may be limited;

we may not be able to refinance our indebtedness on terms acceptable to us or at all;

a significant portion of our cash flow may be dedicated to the payment of interest on our indebtedness, thereby reducing funds available for operations, capital expenditures, acquisitions and/or dividends on our common stock; and

we may be more vulnerable to economic downturns and be limited in our ability to withstand competitive pressures.

Human Capital Risks

We have recently transitioned new personnel into executive leadership positions and our future success will depend in part on our ability to manage this transition successfully. Management and key personnel changes may disrupt our operations, and we may have difficulty attracting and retaining qualified replacements.

We have experienced changes in management and other key personnel in critical functions across our organization, including our chief executive officer and our chief financial officer. Changes in management and other key personnel have the potential to disrupt our business, and any such disruption could adversely affect our operations, programs, growth, financial condition and results of operations. Further, new members of management may have different perspectives on programs and opportunities for our business, which may cause us to focus on new business opportunities or reduce or change emphasis on our existing business programs.

Our success is dependent upon our ability to attract and retain qualified management and key personnel in a highly competitive environment. Qualified individuals are in high demand, and we may incur significant costs to attract them, particularly at the executive level. We may face difficulty in attracting, retaining and compensating key talent for a number of reasons, including competitive market conditions and the need to align the vision of a new executive team with our Board’s vision for our Company. We cannot assure you that we will be able to hire or retain the personnel necessary to achieve our strategic vision, that personnel we do recruit will be successful or that the loss of any such personnel will not have a material impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

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Replacing departing executives can involve organizational disruption and uncertainty. If we fail to manage this transition successfully, we could experience significant delays or difficulty in the achievement of our development and strategic objectives and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely harmed.

A continued shortage of qualified labor could negatively affect our business and materially reduce earnings.

We have experienced shortages of qualified labor across our operations. Participants in our supply chain have also experienced shortages of qualified labor. The future success of our operations, including the achievement of our strategic objectives, depends on our ability, and the ability of third parties on which we rely to supply and to deliver our products, to identify, recruit, develop and retain qualified and talented individuals. As a result, any shortage of qualified labor could significantly adversely affect our business. Employee recruitment, development and retention efforts that we or such third parties undertake may not be successful, which could result in a shortage of qualified individuals in future periods. Any such shortage could decrease our ability to effectively produce and deliver our products and to achieve our strategic objectives. Such a shortage would also likely lead to higher wages for employees (or higher costs to purchase the services of such third parties) and a corresponding reduction in our results of operations. In the current operating environment, we are experiencing a shortage of qualified labor in certain geographies, particularly with plant production workers, resulting in increased costs from certain temporary wage actions, such as hiring and referral and retention bonus program. A continuation of such shortages for a prolonged period of time could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

A portion of our workforce is unionized and labor disruptions could decrease our profitability.

While we believe that our relations with our employees and labor unions are good, we cannot ensure that we will be able to negotiate collective bargaining agreements on favorable terms, or at all, and without production interruptions, including labor stoppages. A prolonged labor dispute, which could include a work stoppage, could have a material adverse effect on the portion of our business affected by the dispute, which could impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We rely on co-packers for a portion of our production needs.

We utilize high-quality co-packers to produce a portion of our retail and foodservice products. If we are unable to utilize quality co-packers effectively, we may not be able to meet our production needs for our expected growth. Similar, if an existing co-packer is no longer able or willing to produce products for us, there are no assurances that we will be able to immediately replace them with our own production capacity or that of another co-packer operating in the same region and at the same level of quality. We closely monitor and audit the quality of our co-packers; and our co-packers are required to maintain insurance. We, however, remain subject to risks related to the production of fresh and processed foods.

Industry Risks

We are subject to increasing competition that may adversely affect our operating results.

The fresh produce and prepared food markets in which we operate are highly competitive. Each of our businesses is subject to competitive pressures, including the following:

The market for avocados is impacted by an increasing volume of foreign grown avocados being imported into the United States. Recently, there have been significant plantings of avocados in Mexico, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Colombia and other parts of the world, which have had, and will continue to have, the effect of increasing the volume of foreign grown avocados entering the United States market. Increased supply could put downward pressure on the market price for avocados and also lead to a broader number of marketing and distribution competitors if we are unable to process sufficient supply to maintain our market share.

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We are subject to competition from other avocado handlers. If we are unable to consistently pay growers a competitive price for their avocados, these growers may choose to have their avocados marketed by alternate handlers.
Mexican sourced avocados and perishable food products are impacted by competitors operating in Mexico. Generally, handlers of Mexican grown avocados operate facilities that are substantially smaller than our facility in Uruapan, Mexico. If we are unable to pack and market a sufficient volume of Mexican grown avocados, smaller handlers will have a lower per unit cost and be able to offer Mexican avocados at a more competitive price to our customers.
The fresh-cut produce market is highly fragmented and we compete with a variety of national, regional and local manufacturers and distributors of fresh-cut produce in the geographies that we serve.  These competitors include both branded and non-branded producers, as well as certain retailers’ own in-house fresh-cut operations.  To compete successfully, we must be able to strategically source a wide array of fresh produce and prepared food items of uniformly high quality and sell and distribute it on a timely and regular basis.  The overall availability and quality of produce items that we purchase for processing can have a meaningful impact on sales and profitability of our Prepared reporting unit.  Additionally, the short-shelf life nature of these products makes this business highly localized and our success is often related to our ability to manufacture those products within close proximity to our customers’ locations.

A recall of our products could have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, we may be subject to significant liability claims should the consumption of any of our products cause injury, illness or death.

The sale of food products for human consumption involves the risk of injury to consumers. Such injuries may result from tampering by unauthorized third parties, product contamination or spoilage, including the presence of foreign objects, substances, chemicals, other agents, or residues introduced during the growing, storage, handling or transportation phases. While we are subject to governmental inspection and regulations and believe our facilities comply in all material respects with all applicable laws and regulations, we cannot be sure that consumption of our products will not cause a health-related illness in the future or that we will not be subject to claims or lawsuits relating to such matters. Even if a product liability claim is unsuccessful or is not fully pursued, the negative publicity surrounding any assertion that our products caused illness or injury could adversely affect our reputation with existing and potential customers and our corporate and brand image.

We and our growers are subject to the risks that are inherent in farming.

Our results of operations may be adversely affected by numerous factors over which we have little or no control and that are inherent in farming, including reductions in the market prices for our products, adverse weather (including but not limited to drought, high winds, earthquakes and/or wildfire) and growing conditions, pest and disease problems, and new government regulations regarding farming and the marketing of agricultural products.

Demand for our products is subject to changing consumer preferences.

Consumer preferences for particular food products are subject to fluctuations over time.  Our ability to market and sell our products successfully depends in part on our ability to identify changing consumer preferences and respond to those changes by offering products that appeal broadly to consumers in light of current demands.  Shifts in consumer preferences that can impact demand for our products at any given time can result from a number of factors, including dietary trends, attention to particular nutritional aspects of our products, concerns regarding the health effects of particular ingredients, attention given to ingredient sourcing practices and general public perception of food safety risks.  Consumer demand for our products also may be impacted by any public commentary that consumers or certain regulatory bodies (including federal or state agencies involved in monitoring food safety) may make regarding our products or similar products. Consumer demand for our products also may be impacted by changes in the level of advertising or promotional support that are employed by (i) us, (ii) our retail/foodservice customers, or (iii) relevant industry groups or third parties that provide competing products.  If consumer preferences trend negatively with respect to any one or more of our products, our sales volumes may decline as a result.

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Regulatory and Related Risks

Environmental and other regulation of our business, including potential climate change regulation, could adversely impact us by increasing our production cost or restricting our ability to import certain products into the United States.

Climate change could increase both the frequency and severity of natural disasters that may affect our business operations. Moreover, there has been a broad range of proposed and promulgated state, national and international regulation aimed at reducing the effects of climate change. Such regulations apply or could apply in countries where we have interests or could have interests in the future. In the United States, there is a significant possibility that some form of regulation will be enacted at the federal level to address the effects of climate change. Such regulation could take several forms that could result in additional costs in the form of taxes, the restriction of output, investments of capital to maintain compliance with laws and regulations, or required acquisition or trading of emission allowances. Climate change regulation continues to evolve, and it is not possible to accurately estimate either a timetable for implementation or our future compliance costs relating to implementation.

Increased legislative, regulatory and public scrutiny on environmental, social, and corporate governance (“ESG”) issues including potential litigation involving our ESG practices or disclosures may adversely affect our business, and results of operations.   

 

A number of companies have been subject to private litigation and governmental action involving a diverse set of claims ranging from allegedly false environmental compliance and “sustainability” disclosures, social issues such as modern slavery in supply chains, and governance issues involving corporate audits and reporting.  Like many companies, we publish an annual sustainability report covering topics including energy and emissions, fair labor, and sustainable agriculture.  While we believe the disclosures in our sustainability reports and elsewhere concerning ESG are accurate, we could still be subject to litigation involving ESG claims.  Such litigation, even if without merit, could negatively impact our reputation, take management time and attention away from other company business, require changes in operations and/or adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the actions of growers and other industry partners on ESG matters could negatively impact our reputation or involve us in legal or regulatory proceedings concerning their conduct.  

Unanticipated changes in U.S. or international tax provisions, the adoption of new tax legislation or exposure to additional tax liabilities could affect our financial performance.

We are subject to taxes in the U.S. and Mexico. Due to economic and political conditions, tax rates in various jurisdictions may be subject to significant change. Our effective tax rates could be affected by changes in the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, or changes in tax laws or their interpretation.

We are also subject to the examination of our tax returns and other tax matters by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the Servicio de Administracion Tributaria in Mexico (the “SAT”) and other tax authorities. We regularly assess the likelihood of an adverse outcome resulting from these examinations to determine the adequacy of our provision for taxes. There can be no assurance that we will accurately predict the outcomes of any audits, and the amounts ultimately paid upon resolution of audits could be materially different from the amounts previously included in our income tax expense and therefore could have a material impact on our tax provision, net income and cash flows. If our effective tax rates were to increase, or if the ultimate determination of our taxes owed is for an amount in excess of amounts previously accrued, our financial condition, operating results and cash flows could be adversely affected.

Our dispute with Mexican tax authorities related to the 2013 Tax Assessment may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position.

In July 2018, a local office of the SAT issued a final tax assessment (the “2013 Assessment”) totaling approximately $2.6 billion Mexican pesos (which includes annual adjustments for inflation, and equals approx. $131.3 million USD at October 31, 2022) related to a fiscal 2013 tax audit. This amount has been adjusted for inflation as of October 31, 2022 to the amount of $3 billion Mexican pesos (approx. $151.5 million USD). Additionally, the tax authorities have

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determined that we owe our employees profit-sharing liability, totaling approximately $118 million Mexican pesos (approx. $6.0 million USD at October 31, 2022). In August 2018, we filed an administrative appeal (the “Administrative Appeal”) on the 2013 Assessment, appealing our case to the SAT’s Legal Administration in Michoacan.

On June 25, 2021, we became aware that the Administrative Appeal had been resolved against CDM on March 12, 2021, and that CDM had allegedly failed to timely respond to and challenge the SAT’s notification of such resolution, therefore rendering the 2013 Assessment as definitive. In addition, the SAT placed liens on the fixed assets of CDM, with a net book value of approximately $26 million USD, and on bank accounts of CDM totaling approximately $1 million USD in order to guaranty the 2013 Assessment. As of October 31, 2022 all liens have been removed from the assets of CDM as a result of a Court ruling in favor of CDM. CDM accordingly received access to its bank accounts in November 2022.

 

We have taken measures to vigorously defend our position that the 2013 Assessment is without merit and we have court rulings in favor of CDM, including a Court resolution from the Tax Court ordering the SAT to accept an Administrative Guaranty and remove all liens. We have filed an Annulment Suit (the “Suit”) with the Federal Tax Court, which among other things, contends that the notifications made by the SAT to CDM and its designated advisors of the resolution of the Administrative Appeal in March 2021 was not legally communicated and asserts the same matters central to the Reconsideration as wrongly concluded in the resolution of the Administrative Appeal. We cannot assure you that any of these measures will be successful or that we will be able to settle the 2013 Assessment on terms acceptable to us or at all.  Such outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition which could result in an event of default under our credit facility and the acceleration of indebtedness under such facility. Further, we cannot assure you that the provision for this matter in our financial statements will be adequate to fund any settlement we may ultimately enter into or any amount of taxes.  

Our dispute with the Mexican tax authorities related to taxes receivable may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position.

As of October 31, 2022, and October 31, 2021, CDM IVA receivables totaled $43.6 million (865.4 million Mexican pesos) and $37.5 million (762.1 million Mexican pesos). Historically, CDM received IVA refund payments from the Mexican tax authorities on a timely basis. Beginning in fiscal 2014 and continuing into fiscal 2022, the tax authorities began objecting to refund requests and supporting documentation that had previously been deemed acceptable to process a refund. Additionally, they are also questioning the refunds requested attributable to IVA paid to certain suppliers that allegedly did not fulfill their own tax obligations. We believe these factors and others have contributed to delays in the processing of IVA claims by the Mexican tax authorities. Currently, we are in the process of collecting such balances primarily through regular administrative processes, but these amounts may ultimately need to be recovered through Administrative Appeals and/or other legal means. For further details on this matter, see Note 15 in the consolidated financial statements.

We believe that our operations in Mexico are properly documented and our internationally recognized tax advisors believe that there are legal grounds to prevail in collecting the corresponding IVA amounts. Therefore, we believe that it is probable that the Mexican tax authorities will ultimately authorize the refund of the corresponding IVA amounts. However, there is no assurance that we will collect the full amount reflected in our financial statements. 

We are subject to possible changing USDA and FDA regulations which govern the importation of foreign avocados into the United States and the processing of processed avocado products.

The USDA has established, and continues to modify, regulations governing the importation of avocados into the United States. Our permits that allow us to import foreign-sourced avocados into the United States generally are contingent on our compliance with these regulations. Our results of operations may be adversely affected if we are unable to comply with existing and modified regulations and are unable to secure avocado import permits in the future.

The FDA establishes, and continues to modify, regulations governing the production of processed avocado products, such as the new Food Safety Modernization Act, which implements mandatory preventive controls for food facilities and compliance with mandatory produce safety standards.  Our results of operations may be adversely affected if we are

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unable to comply with these existing and modified regulations. Such failures could also cause reputational damage to our business.

International Risks

We work with international third-party suppliers and partners, and our financial results could suffer due to unfavorable international events or regulations.

We conduct a substantial amount of business with growers and customers who are located outside the United States. We purchase avocados from foreign growers and packers, sell fresh avocados and processed avocado products to foreign customers, and operate packinghouses and a processing plant in Mexico. In recent years, there has been an increase in organized crime in Mexico. This has not had a significant impact on our operations, but this does increase the risk of doing business in Mexico. We are also subject to regulations imposed by the Mexican government, and also to examinations by the Mexican tax authorities. Significant changes to these government regulations and to assessments by the Mexican tax authorities can have a negative impact on our operations and operating results in Mexico. For additional information about our Mexican sourced fruit, see the “Business” section included in this Annual Report.

Our current international operations are subject to a number of inherent risks, including:

Local economic and political conditions, including disruptions in supply, labor, transportation (the transport of consumer goods), trading and capital markets;
Restrictive U.S. and foreign governmental actions, such as restrictions on transfers of funds and trade protection measures, including import/export duties and quotas and customs duties and tariffs; and
Changes in legal or regulatory requirements affecting foreign investment, loans, taxes (including value-added taxes), imports, and exports.

Currency exchange fluctuations may impact the results of our operations.

Currency exchange rate fluctuations, depending upon the nature of the changes, may make our domestic-sourced products more expensive compared to foreign grown products or may increase our cost of obtaining foreign-sourced products. These foreign currency fluctuations also affect the ultimate realization of foreign currency denominated assets and liabilities in US dollar terms. While hedging instruments may help reduce the volatility associated with currency rate changes, hedging instruments may not be readily available, may be too expensive or may be ineffective for the respective reduction in volatility desired.  To date, the Company has not hedged against foreign currency exposure and we may not hedge against foreign currency exposure in the future, which could increase our susceptibility to foreign currency fluctuations.

Financial Risks

Our ability to raise capital in the future may be limited, and our failure to raise capital when needed could prevent us from executing our growth strategy.

The timing and amount of our working capital and capital expenditure requirements may vary significantly depending on many factors, including:

Market acceptance of our products; and
The existence of opportunities for expansion.

If our capital resources are not sufficient to satisfy our liquidity needs, we may seek to sell additional equity or obtain additional debt financing. The sale of additional equity would result in dilution to our shareholders. Additional debt would result in increased expenses and could result in covenants that would restrict our operations. We may not be able to obtain additional financing, if required, in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, or at all.

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We are subject to restrictive debt covenants and other requirements related to our debt that limit our business flexibility by imposing operating and financial restrictions on our operations.

The agreements governing our indebtedness impose significant operating and financial restrictions on us. These restrictions prohibit or limit, among other things:

the incurrence of additional indebtedness;

a number of restricted payments, including investments;

specified sales of assets;

specified transactions with affiliates;

the creation of certain types of liens;

consolidations, mergers and transfers of all or substantially all of our assets.

Our credit agreement requires us to maintain specified financial ratios and satisfy financial condition tests, including, without limitation, a consolidated leverage ratio and a consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio.

Our ability to comply with the ratios or tests may be affected by events beyond our control, including prevailing economic, financial and industry conditions. A breach of any of these covenants, or failure to meet or maintain ratios or tests could result in a default under our credit agreement. Certain events of default under our credit agreement would prohibit us from paying dividends on our common stock. In addition, upon the occurrence of an event of default under our credit agreement, the lenders could elect to declare all amounts outstanding under the credit agreement, together with accrued interest, to be immediately due and payable. If we were unable to repay those amounts, the credit agreement lenders could proceed against the security granted to them to secure that indebtedness. If the lenders accelerate the payment of the indebtedness, our assets may not be sufficient to repay in full this indebtedness and our other indebtedness.

Further, we were previously not in compliance with certain covenants regarding financial ratios and tests contained in our credit agreement. As a result, we entered into amendments of such credit agreement that waived our noncompliance with such covenants and amended the financial covenants required. See Note 6 to our consolidated financial statements. Currently we are in compliance with such financial covenants and expect to remain in compliance.

Our ownership in unconsolidated subsidiaries, our loans/notes or advances to unconsolidated subsidiaries and other future debt or equity investments that we may make in unconsolidated subsidiaries, present risks and challenges that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations.

Income/(loss) from unconsolidated entities includes our allocation of earnings or losses from our investments in Don Memo. We do not control the operations of these investments, and our allocation of potential income or loss can increase or decrease our overall profitability significantly.

Any loans/notes or advances that we make to unconsolidated entities (such as the existing advances to Don Memo) may at some point in the future be deemed uncollectible and as such may materially and negatively impact our financial results in the period such determination is made. As noted earlier, we do not control the operations of Don Memo, and their future operating performance and/or their future ability to raise capital from other third parties could negatively impact our ability to collect on our loans/notes or advances.

General Risks

The value of our common stock may be adversely affected by market volatility and our common stock price has fluctuated and may continue to fluctuate, which may make future prices of our common stock difficult to predict.

Investors should not rely on recent or historical trends to predict future stock prices, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. Our common stock price, like that of other companies, can be volatile and can be affected by many factors, including:

Our operating and financial performance and prospects;

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Announcements and public SEC filings we make about our business, financial performance and prospects;
Announcements our customers or competitors make regarding their business, financial performance and prospects;
Short-interest in our common stock, which may be significant from time-to-time;
The depth and liquidity of the market for our common stock;
Investor perception of us and the industry and markets in which we operate;
Our inclusion in, or removal from, any equity market indices;
Changes in earnings estimates or buy/sell recommendations by analysts;
Whether or not we meet earnings estimates of analysts who follow our Company;
Competitors in common markets; and
General financial, domestic, international, economic, industry and other market trends or conditions.

Our performance may be impacted by general economic conditions or an economic downturn.

An overall decline in economic activity could adversely impact our business and financial results. Economic uncertainty may reduce consumer spending as consumers make decisions on what to include in their food budgets. This could also result in a shift in consumer preference. Shifts in consumer spending could result in increased pressure from competitors or customers that may require us to increase promotional spending or reduce the prices of some of our products and/or limit our ability to increase or maintain prices, which could lower our revenue and profitability. Instability in financial markets may impact our ability, or increase the cost, to enter into new credit agreements in the future. Additionally, it may weaken the ability of our customers, suppliers, third-party distributors, banks, insurance companies and other business partners to perform their obligations in the normal course of business, which could expose us to losses or disrupt the supply of inputs we rely upon to conduct our business. If one or more of our key business partners fail to perform as expected or contracted for any reason, our business could be negatively impacted.

Our insurance policies may not adequately protect us from liability or may negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations due to increasing costs.

While we believe that the extent of our insurance coverage is consistent with industry practice, such coverage does not cover all losses we may incur, even in areas for which we have coverage. Our insurance policies are subject to coverage exclusions, deductibles and caps, and any claim we make under our insurance policies may be subject to such limitations. Any claim we make may not be honored fully, in a timely manner, or at all, and we may not have purchased sufficient insurance to cover all losses incurred. If we were to incur substantial liabilities or if our business operations were interrupted for a substantial period of time, we could incur costs and suffer losses. Additionally, in the future, insurance coverage may not be available to us at commercially acceptable premiums, or at all.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2. Properties

We lease our corporate headquarters building from Limoneira, which building is located in Santa Paula, California. In addition, we lease a corporate office in Rancho Cordova, California. We have numerous facilities throughout the United States and three facilities in Mexico. See the following table for a summary of our locations:

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United States Locations:

Packinghouses:

    

    

    

 

Leased or Owned:

    

City

    

State

    

Description

Owned

Santa Paula

California

Primarily handles fresh avocados. The facility was purchased in 1955 and has been improved in capacity and efficiency since then. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to handle its forecasted annual production needs.

Leased

Temecula

California

Primarily ripens, sorts, packs and ships fresh avocados. We sort and pack certain other fresh products as well. We sold this facility in 2019 and leased back a portion of it.

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Operating and Distributing Facilities:

Leased or Owned:

City

State

Description

Owned

Santa Paula

California

Primarily ripens, sorts, packs and ships fresh avocados. We sort and pack certain other fresh products as well. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to pack and ripen, if necessary, its expected annual volume of avocados and other fresh products delivered to us.

Leased

Swedesboro

New Jersey

Primarily ripens, sorts, packs, and ships avocados. Additionally, it also serves to store and ship certain other fresh products, as well as prepared foods and prepared guacamole products. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to handle its forecasted annual production needs.

Leased

Garland

Texas

Primarily ripens, sorts, packs and ships fresh avocados. Additionally, it also serves to store and ship prepared guacamole products as well. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to handle its forecasted annual production needs.

Leased

Green Cove Springs

Florida

Primarily ripens, sorts, packs and ships fresh avocados and stores and ships prepared guacamole. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to handle its forecasted annual production needs. In November 2021, we have ceased operations in the Prepared products portion of this facility. See Note 18 in consolidated financial statements.

Leased

Hilo

Hawaii

Primarily sorts, packs, and ships papayas. We believe that the annual capacity will be sufficient to handle its forecasted annual production needs.

Owned

Hilo

Hawaii

Primarily provides irradiation services for produce grown in Hawaii. We believe that the annual capacity will be sufficient to handle its forecasted annual production needs.

Leased

St. Paul

Minnesota

Calavo Salsa Lisa (CSL) facility that produces salsa. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to handle its forecasted annual production needs.

Leased

Houston

Texas

Prepared products facility that primarily processes fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, and prepared foods. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to handle its forecasted annual production needs.

Owned

Riverside

California

Prepared products facility that primarily processes fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, and prepared foods. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to handle its forecasted annual production needs.

Leased

Sacramento

California

Prepared products facility that primarily processes fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, and prepared foods. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to handle its forecasted annual production needs.

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eased

Leased or Owned:

City

State

Description

Leased

Clackamas

Oregon

Opened in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, this Prepared products facility primarily processes fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, and prepared foods. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to handle its forecasted annual production needs.

Leased

Conley

Georgia

Opened in the third quarter of fiscal 2019, this Prepared products facility primarily processes fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, and prepared foods. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to handle its forecasted annual production needs.

Mexico Locations:

Packinghouses and Processing Facility:

Leased or Owned:

City

State

Description

Owned

Uruapan

Michoacan

Our guacamole processing facility produces our guacamole products. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to handle its forecasted annual production needs. See Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements

Owned

Uruapan

Michoacan

Primarily handles fresh avocados. The facility was built in 1985 and has been significantly and continually improved in capacity and efficiency since then. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to process its forecasted annual production needs. See Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements

Owned

Ciudad Guzman

Jalisco

Opened in the third quarter of 2017, this facility primarily handles fresh avocados. We believe that the annual capacity of this facility will be sufficient to process its forecasted annual production needs.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

See Note 7 of our consolidated financial statements for further information.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

22

PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Our common stock trades on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "CVGW".

The following tables set forth, for the periods indicated, the high and low sales prices per share of our common stock as reported on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

Fiscal 2022

    

High

    

Low

 

First Quarter

$

44.56

$

37.00

Second Quarter

$

45.26

$

32.75

Third Quarter

$

44.57

$

28.76

Fourth Quarter

$

45.50

$

29.51

Fiscal 2021

    

High

    

Low

 

First Quarter

$

77.95

$

62.02

Second Quarter

$

85.40

$

71.58

Third Quarter

$

80.06

$

55.65

Fourth Quarter

$

57.76

$

33.25

Shareholders

As of November 30, 2022, there were 746 stockholders of record of our common stock.

Dividend Policy

Our dividend policy has historically provided for an annual dividend payment, as determined by the Board of Directors.

In November 2022, we announced that we will begin declaring and paying dividends quarterly rather than annually as had been our practice. On December 14, 2022, we paid a dividend of $0.2875 per share, or an aggregate of $5.2 million, to shareholders of record on November 16, 2022.

On October 29, 2021, we declared a cash dividend of $1.15 per share. On December 3, 2021, we paid the aggregate amount of $20.3 million to shareholders of record on November 12, 2021.

23

Shareholder Return Performance Graph

The following graph compares the performance of our common stock with the performance of the Nasdaq Market Index and a Peer Group of major diversified companies in our same industry for approximately the 60-month period beginning October 31, 2017 and ending October 31, 2022. In making this comparison, we have assumed an investment of $100 in Calavo Growers, Inc. common stock, the Nasdaq Market Index, the Peer Group Index as of October 31, 2017. We have also assumed the reinvestment of all dividends. Our Peer Group Index includes the companies of: Andersons, Inc., B&G Foods, Inc., Boston Beer Company, Inc., Fresh Del Monte Produce, Inc., Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Hostess Brands, Inc., J&J Snack Foods, Corp., John B Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., and Landec, Corp.

Graphic

Graphic

Item 6. RESERVED

24

Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto that appear elsewhere in this Annual Report. This discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, those presented under "Risks Related to Our Business" included in Item 1A and elsewhere in this Annual Report.

Overview

We are a leader in the distribution of avocados, guacamole products, and other perishable food products throughout the United States. Our expertise in marketing and distributing avocados, prepared avocado products, and other perishable foods allows us to deliver a wide array of fresh and prepared food products to retail grocery, foodservice, club stores, mass merchandisers, food distributors and wholesalers on a worldwide basis. We procure avocados from California, Mexico and other growing regions around the world. Through our various operating facilities, we (i) sort, pack, and/or ripen avocados, tomatoes and/or Hawaiian grown papayas, (ii) create, process and package a portfolio of healthy fresh foods including fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, and prepared foods including sandwiches, salads, parfaits and ready-to-eat snack items among other products and (iii) process and package guacamole and salsa. We distribute our products both domestically and internationally.

On April 13, 2022, we announced plans to reorganize our business into two reporting segments, Grown and Prepared. The management transition to operate as Grown and Prepared began at the start of the third quarter of 2022. The Grown segment consists of fresh avocados, tomatoes and papayas. The Prepared segment comprises all other products including fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, ready-to-eat sandwiches, wraps, salads and snacks, guacamole, and salsa sold at retail and food service as well as avocado pulp sold to foodservice. See Note 10 to our consolidated financial statements for further information about our business segments.

Our Grown products business grades, sizes, packs, cools, and ripens (if desired) avocados for delivery to our customers. During fiscal 2022, we operated four packinghouses and four operating and distributing facilities (aka value-added depots or VADs) that handle avocados that are sold across the United States and to select international markets. We believe that our continued success in marketing avocados is largely dependent upon securing a reliable, high-quality supply of avocados at reasonable prices, and keeping the handling costs low as we ship avocados to our packinghouses and distribution centers. We believe our diversified avocado sources help provide a level of relative supply stability that may, over time, serve to increase the availability and demand for avocados among consumers in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Significant fluctuations in the volume of avocados delivered have an impact on the per pound packing costs of avocados we handle. Generally, larger crops will result in a lower per pound handling cost. As a result of our investment in packinghouse equipment, distribution centers with value-added ripening and packing capabilities, and personnel, we believe that our cost structure is geared to optimally handle larger avocado volume. We believe our efforts in distributing our other various perishable foods, such as tomatoes and papayas, complement our offerings of avocados. From time to time, we continue to explore the distribution of other crops that provide reasonable returns to our business.

Our Prepared business produces, markets and distributes nationally a portfolio of healthy, high quality fresh packaged food products for consumers sold through the retail and other channels. Prepared products include guacamole products (including both frozen and fresh), salsa, fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, fresh prepared entrée salads, wraps, sandwiches and fresh snacking products, as well as ready-to-heat entrees and other hot bar and various deli items, meals kit components and salad kits. Prepared products are marketed under the Calavo, Garden Highway Fresh Cut, Garden Highway, and Garden Highway Chef Essentials brands, as well as store-brand and private label programs. We believe that we are well positioned to address the diverse taste and needs of today’s foodservice and retail customers. Our Prepared business maintains relationships with foodservice companies and food retailers. We continue to seek to expand our relationships with major foodservice companies and food retailers and develop alliances that will allow our products to reach a larger percentage of the marketplace.

25

The operating results of all of our businesses have been, and will continue to be, affected by quarterly and annual fluctuations and market downturns due to a number of factors, including but not limited to pests and disease, weather patterns, changes in demand by consumers, food safety advisories impacting the fresh perishable food categories in which we currently operate, the timing of the receipt, reduction, or cancellation of significant customer orders, the gain or loss of significant customers, market acceptance of our products, our ability to develop, introduce, and market new products on a timely basis, the availability, quality and price of raw materials, new product introductions by our competitors, the utilization of production capacity at our various plant locations, change in the mix of products that our Grown and Prepared segments sell, and general economic conditions. We believe, however, that we are currently positioned to address these risks and deliver favorable operating results for the foreseeable future.

Recent Developments

Sale of Investment in Limoneira

On October 27, 2022, we sold 1,677,299 shares of Limoneira common stock for gross proceeds of approximately $18.5 million. We used the net proceeds thereof after payment of commissions and expenses to pay down borrowings on our credit facility with Bank of America, as administrative agent, and the other lenders thereto. Contemporaneously with such sale, Bank of America, as administrative agent, released its lien on such shares in accordance with terms of the Credit Facility and the related loan documents.

COVID-19 Pandemic Impact

The COVID-19 pandemic created challenging and unprecedented conditions for our business, and the global economy, disrupting global supply chains, changing certain purchasing norms in retail and foodservice channels and created significant volatility and disruption of financial markets. This has resulted in inflationary and cost pressures that adversely impacted, our production and distribution costs, including costs of raw materials, packaging, labor, and freight.

We continue to experience increased labor costs, commodity costs and logistical costs in the current economic climate and as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are experiencing higher costs attributed to operational challenges that impact our production facilities and our logistics network; the impact of higher prices for petroleum-based products, packaging materials and other commodities; and the availability of labor.

 

In response to the inflationary costs described above, we have implemented price increases and may implement additional price increases in the future.  Customers may not accept price increases or we may face competitive pressure that leads to price reductions for certain products. 

Increasing volume of foreign grown avocados 

 

 The market for avocados is impacted by an increasing volume of foreign grown avocados being imported into the United States.  Recently, there have been significant plantings of avocados in Mexico, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Colombia and other parts of the world, which have had, and will continue to have, the effect of increasing the volume of foreign grown avocados entering the United States market.   

Dividend payment

In November 2022, we announced that we will begin declaring and paying dividends quarterly rather than annually as had been our practice. On December 14, 2022, we paid a dividend of $0.2875 per share, or an aggregate of $5.2 million, to shareholders of record on November 16, 2022.

Project Uno

During the third quarter of 2021, the Company launched Project Uno, a strategic set of initiatives that seeks to identify areas of operating efficiencies and cost savings to expand profit margins, cash flow and return on invested capital. We have undertaken multiple productivity and transformation initiatives, including (1) closure of the Prepared Florida plant

26

and transfer of its viable operations into Prepared Georgia, (2) implementing broader supply chain operational improvements, (3) integrating our commercial, logistics, IT, procurement and accounting functions across the three divisions, (4) product rationalization initiatives which are aimed at eliminating unprofitable or slow moving stock keeping units and (5) outsourcing certain functions in our North American business to third-party service providers and the associated implementation of new procurement technology solutions.

As Project Uno has progressed, we have embedded operating controls and initiatives outlined by Project Uno into our regular operating procedures.   As such, we anticipate the financial impact of Project Uno will simply be embedded in our financial results of operations as opposed to separately disclosed.

Mexico tax audits

In January 2017, we received preliminary observations from the Servicio de Administracion Tributaria in Mexico (the “SAT”) related to an audit for fiscal year 2013 outlining certain proposed adjustments primarily related to intercompany funding, deductions for services from certain vendors/suppliers and IVA. We provided a written rebuttal to these preliminary observations during our second fiscal quarter of 2017.

On February 4, 2022, we had a follow-up meeting with the SAT in Mexico City to begin a dialog with the objective of reaching a settlement of the 2013 Assessment. The SAT agreed in principle to continue this dialog, but requested that we provide a financial guaranty to secure the related tax as a pre-requisite to these discussions.

On February 25, 2022, we filed an injunction to challenge the SAT’s response issued to the Reconsideration. This would allow time to continue the discussions with SAT at the administrative level and would give SAT the legal basis to issue a new resolution. This injunction suit represents a further opportunity for a Court of Law to analyze this matter from a constitutional perspective.

The injunction suit was admitted for analysis by the District Court, however, SAT filed a complaint (queja) against the ruling allowing Calavo de Mexico (“CDM”) to file an extension of the injunction suit. This complaint was filed by SAT to challenge the admission and analysis of the injunction suit; this complaint was decided by the Circuit Courts in October 2022 against the SAT complaint and the Court will start the analysis of injunction in the following months.

On March 4, 2022, the Annulment Suit was formally accepted by the Federal Tax Court, which simultaneously granted a provisional suspension of the collections proceedings by the SAT. The acceptance by the court of the Annulment Suit renders the 2013 Assessment as non-definitive, until such time as the suit is resolved.

On March 10, 2022, we met with the SAT and offered an Administrative Guaranty (Embargo en Via Administrativa) to secure the 2013 Assessment, which provides the SAT with certain administrative rights to CDM assets in the unlikely event we do not prevail in our actions through the Federal Tax Court (see below). Once the Administrative Guaranty is in place, the existing liens over the assets of CDM will be removed and the SAT collection process will be suspended.

On April 27, 2022, the SAT provided a Positive Compliance Opinion to CDM, and consequently the Tax Authority renewed the VAT Certification to CDM. These two resolutions signal a positive development on the Tax controversies in Mexico.

On October 10, 2022, the Tax Court ruled in favor of CDM granting the definitive suspension, accepting the Administrative Guaranty and forcing the SAT to remove all liens placed on CDM fixed assets and bank accounts. The Court also recognized that the $3.1 billion pesos assessment exceeds the economic capacity of CDM.

While we continue to believe that the 2013 Assessment is completely without merit, and that we will prevail on the Annulment Suit in the Tax Court, and that we have court rulings in favor of CDM, we also believe it is in the best interest of CDM and the Company to settle the 2013 Assessment as quickly as possible. Furthermore, we believe that the above actions taken by CDM will encourage the SAT to agree to reach a settlement. In accordance with our cumulative probability analysis, based on factors such as recent settlements made by the SAT in other cases, the 2011 Assessment settlement reached by CDM with the MFM, and the value of CDM assets, we recorded a provision of $11 million USD

27

in the third quarter of fiscal 2021, as a discrete item in Income Tax Provision. The provision includes estimated penalties, interest and inflationary adjustments. We believe that this provision remains appropriate as of October 31, 2022 based on our cumulative probability analysis. We incurred $1.4 million of related professional fees for the year ended October 31, 2022, which have been recorded in Expenses related to Mexican Tax matters.

Mexican IVA taxes receivable

Historically, CDM received IVA refund payments from the Mexican tax authorities on a timely basis. Beginning in fiscal 2014 and continuing into fiscal 2022, the tax authorities began objecting to refund requests and supporting documentation that had previously been deemed acceptable to process a refund. Additionally, they are also questioning the refunds requested attributable to IVA paid to certain suppliers that allegedly did not fulfill their own tax obligations. We believe these factors and others have contributed to delays in the processing of IVA claims by the Mexican tax authorities. Currently, we are in the process of collecting such balances primarily through regular administrative processes, but these amounts may ultimately need to be recovered through Administrative Appeals and/or legal means.

In April 2022, the Tax Court issued the ruling for the months of July, August and September 2015 through which it was declared that the following resolutions were resolved:

It is recognized that CDM operates as a maquila under the authorization of the Ministry of Finance.

It is recognized that all bank deposits corresponding to the purchase of avocados on behalf of Calavo Growers Inc. (CGI), are subject to the maquila program and it is not accruable income for purposes of Income Tax nor activities subject to VAT.

It is recognized that VAT is recoverable, since CDM demonstrated the existence of operations carried under the maquila services.

Resolved that certain VAT amounts attributed to the purchase of certain packing materials are not recoverable as CDM was not the buyer on record and therefore did not pay for the materials, which approximated $6.9 million pesos (approximately $0.3 million USD).

The court is still reviewing the appeal filed by the Company on May 9, 2022, against the ruling resolving that certain VAT amounts are not recoverable.

The latest court resolution sustains the Company’s position that it is entitled to substantially all of its VAT amounts, and the Company is considering its options for collecting the entire VAT receivable. In the unlikely event of an unfavorable resolution of the Administrative Appeals, we plan to file Annulment Suits with the Mexican Federal Tax Court. If these suits result in an unfavorable ruling, there is an option to appeal to the Collegiate Circuit Court. The estimated time for the resolution of these suits could be 2 – 3 years.

We believe that our operations in Mexico are properly documented, and our internationally recognized tax advisors believe that there are legal grounds to prevail in collecting the corresponding IVA amounts. With assistance from our internationally recognized tax advisory firm, as of October 31, 2022, CDM has filed Administrative Appeals for months for which IVA refunds have been denied by the SAT, and will continue filing such appeals for any months for which refunds are denied in the future. Therefore, it is probable that the Mexican tax authorities will ultimately authorize the refund of the corresponding IVA amounts.

Litigation

From time to time, we are involved in litigation arising in the ordinary course of our business that we do not believe will have a material adverse impact on our financial statements.

28

Critical Accounting Estimates

Our discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses. On an ongoing basis, we re-evaluate all of our estimates, including those related to the areas of customer and grower receivables, IVA tax receivables, inventories, useful lives of property, plant and equipment, promotional allowances, equity income/losses and impairment analysis from unconsolidated entities, loans to unconsolidated entities, income taxes, retirement benefits, and commitments and contingencies. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Additionally, we frequently engage third party valuation experts to assist us with estimates described below. Actual results may materially differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions as additional information becomes available in future periods.

Management has discussed the development and selection of critical accounting estimates with the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors and the Audit Committee has reviewed our disclosure relating to critical accounting estimates in this Annual Report.

We believe the following are the more significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements.

Promotional allowances. We provide for promotional allowances at the time of sale, based on volume purchased and our historical experience. Our estimates are generally based on evaluating the relationship between promotional allowances and gross sales. The derived percentage is then applied to the current period’s sales revenues in order to arrive at the appropriate debit to sales allowances for the period. The offsetting credit is made to accrued liabilities. When certain amounts of specific customer accounts are subsequently identified as promotional, they are written off against this allowance. Actual amounts may differ from these estimates and such differences are recognized as an adjustment to net sales in the period they are identified. We estimate that a one percent (100 basis point) change in the derived percentage for the entire year would impact results of operations by approximately $0.1 million.

2013 Mexican Tax Audit Assessment. In January 2017, we received preliminary observations from SAT related to an audit for fiscal year 2013 outlining certain proposed adjustments primarily related to intercompany funding, deductions for services from certain vendors/suppliers and IVA. We provided a written rebuttal to these preliminary observations during our second fiscal quarter of 2017.

As a result, in July 2018, the SAT’s local office in Uruapan issued to CDM a final tax assessment totaling approximately $2.6 billion Mexican pesos (which includes annual adjustments for inflation, and equals approximately $131.3 million USD at October 31, 2022) related to Income Tax, Flat Rate Business Tax, and value added tax, related to this fiscal 2013 tax audit.  This amount has been adjusted for inflation as of October 31, 2022 to the amount of $3 billion Mexican pesos (approximately $151.5 million USD).  Additionally, the tax authorities have determined that we owe our employee’s profit-sharing liability, totaling approximately $118 million Mexican pesos (approximately $6.0 million USD at October 31, 2022).

While we continue to believe that the 2013 Assessment is completely without merit, and that we will prevail on the Annulment Suit in the Tax Court, and that we have court rulings in favor of CDM, we also believe it is in the best interest of CDM and the Company to settle the 2013 Assessment as quickly as possible. Furthermore, we believe that the above actions taken by CDM will encourage the SAT to agree to reach a settlement. In accordance with our cumulative probability analysis, based on factors such as recent settlements made by the SAT in other cases, the 2011 Assessment settlement reached by CDM with the MFM, and the value of CDM assets, we recorded a provision of $11 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2021, as a discrete item in Income Tax Provision. The provision includes estimated penalties, interest and inflationary adjustments. We believe that this provision remains appropriate as of October 31, 2022 based on our cumulative probability analysis. We incurred $1.4 million of related professional fees for the year ended October

29

31, 2022, which have been recorded in Expenses related to Mexican Tax matters. See Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for further information.

Mexican IVA taxes receivable. As of October 31, 2022, and October 31, 2021, CDM IVA receivables totaled $43.6 million (865.4 million Mexican pesos) and $37.5 million (762.1 million Mexican pesos). Historically, CDM received IVA refund payments from the Mexican tax authorities on a timely basis. Beginning in fiscal 2014 and continuing into fiscal 2022, however, the tax authorities began carrying out more detailed reviews of our refund requests and our supporting documentation. Additionally, they are also questioning the refunds requested attributable to IVA paid to certain suppliers that allegedly did not fulfill their own tax obligations. We believe these factors and others have contributed to delays in the processing of IVA claims by the Mexican tax authorities. Currently, we are in the process of collecting such balances primarily through regular administrative processes, but these amounts may ultimately need to be recovered through Administrative Appeals and/or legal means.

During the first quarter of fiscal 2017, the tax authorities informed us that their internal opinion, based on the information provided by the local SAT office, considers that CDM is not properly documented relative to its declared tax structure and therefore CDM cannot claim the refundable IVA balance. CDM has strong arguments and supporting documentation to sustain its declared tax structure for IVA and income tax purposes. CDM started an Administrative Appeal for the IVA related to the request of the months of July, August and September of 2015 (the “2015 Appeal”) in order to assert its argument that CDM is properly documented and to therefore change the SAT’s internal assessment. In August 2018, we received a favorable ruling from the SAT’s Legal Administration in Michoacan on the 2015 Appeal indicating that they believe CDM’s legal interpretation of its declared tax structure is indeed accurate. While favorable on this central matter of CDM’s declared tax structure, the ruling, however, still does not recognize the taxpayers right to a full refund for the IVA related to the months of July, August and September 2015. Therefore, in October 2018, CDM filed a substance-over-form Annulment Suit in the Federal Tax Court to recover its full refund for IVA over the subject period, which is currently pending resolution.

In spite of the favorable ruling from the SAT’s Legal Administration in Michoacan, as discussed above, the local SAT office has denied our refund claims and continues to believe that CDM is not properly documented relative to its declared tax structure. As a result, they believe CDM cannot claim certain refundable IVA balances, specifically regarding our IVA refunds since January through October 2017. CDM has strong arguments and supporting documentation to sustain its declared tax structure for IVA and income tax purposes. With assistance from our internationally recognized tax advisory firm, CDM has filed an Administrative Appeals for the IVA related to the preceding months. A response to these Administrative Appeals is currently pending resolution.

In light of the foregoing, the Company is currently considering its options for resolution of the VAT receivables. In the unlikely event of an unfavorable resolution of the Administrative Appeals, we plan to file Annulment Suits with the Mexican Federal Tax Court. If these suits result in an unfavorable ruling, there is an option to appeal to the Collegiate Circuit Court. The estimated time for the resolution of these suits could be 2 – 3 years. This estimated time could be impacted and delayed by the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We believe that our operations in Mexico are properly documented and our internationally recognized tax advisors believe that there are legal grounds to prevail in collecting the corresponding IVA amounts. Therefore, we believe that it is probable that the Mexican tax authorities will ultimately authorize the refund of the corresponding IVA amounts. However, there is no assurance that we will collect the full amount reflected in our financial statements. 

Goodwill and acquired intangible assets. Goodwill, defined as unidentified asset(s) acquired in conjunction with a business acquisition, is tested for impairment on an annual basis and between annual tests whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable. Goodwill is tested at the reporting unit level, which is defined as an operating segment or one level below the operating segment. We perform a goodwill impairment test on an annual basis, and between annual tests whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable. To the extent the carrying amount of the reporting unit’s allocated goodwill exceeds the unit’s fair value, we recognize an impairment of goodwill for the excess up to the amount of goodwill of that reporting unit.

30

As a result of the Company's operating segment realignment, the composition of its reporting units for the evaluation of goodwill impairment was changed. RFG reporting unit goodwill is now included within the Prepared reporting unit. Therefore, goodwill of $24.7 million, which was previously recorded within the RFG reporting unit, is now within our Prepared segment and $4.0 million, previously recorded within the Fresh reporting unit, is now in our Grown segment. Prior to the change in its reporting unit, the Company tested goodwill for impairment at the previous reporting unit, which did not result in any impairment charge.

In fiscal 2022 and 2021, the Company’s estimated fair value significantly exceeded its carrying value in our quantitative assessment of the Company’s impairment test. The fair value of the Company’s reporting units is determined using a combination of valuation techniques, including a discounted cash flow methodology. To corroborate the discounted cash flow analysis, a market approach is utilized using observable market data such as comparable companies in similar lines of business that are publicly traded. The Company concluded based on quantitative assessment tests that no goodwill impairment existed in the fiscal years ended October 31, 2022 and 2021. Goodwill impairment testing requires significant judgment and management estimates, including, but not limited to, the determination of (i) the number of reporting units, (ii) the goodwill and other assets and liabilities to be allocated to the reporting units and (iii) the fair values of the reporting units which includes forecasted cash flow. The estimates and assumptions described above, along with other factors such as discount rates, will significantly affect the outcome of the impairment tests and the amounts of any resulting impairment losses.

Results of Operations

The following table sets forth certain items from our consolidated statements of operations, expressed as percentages of our total net sales, for the periods indicated:

Year ended October 31, 

 

2022

2021

2020

 

Net sales

    

100.0

%  

100.0

%  

100.0

%  

Gross profit

 

6.2

%  

5.4

%  

8.5

%  

Selling, general and administrative

 

5.5

%  

5.4

%  

5.5

%  

Expenses related to Mexican tax matters

%  

0.0

%  

%  

Impairment and charges related to RFG Florida facility closure

0.1

%  

0.9

%  

%  

Gain on sales of Temecula packinghouse

(0.0)

%  

(0.0)

%  

(0.0)

%  

Operating income

 

0.5

%  

(0.9)

%  

3.0

%  

Interest income

 

0.0

%  

0.0

%  

0.2

%  

Interest expense

 

(0.1)

%  

(0.1)

%  

(0.1)

%  

Other income, net

 

0.1

%  

0.1

%  

0.1

%  

Recovery (loss) on reserve for FreshRealm note receivable and impairment of investment

%  

0.6

%  

(3.5)

%  

Unrealized and realized net loss (gain) on Limoneira shares

(0.7)

%  

0.4

%  

(0.8)

%  

Net loss

 

(0.5)

%  

(1.1)

%  

(1.3)

%  

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The below tables include non-GAAP measures EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share (“EPS”), which are not prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or “GAAP.”

EBITDA is defined as net income (loss) attributable to Calavo Growers, Inc. excluding (1) interest income and expense, (2) income taxes (benefit) provision, (3) depreciation and amortization and (4) stock-based compensation expense. Adjusted EBITDA is EBITDA with further adjustments for (1) non-cash net losses (income) recognized from unconsolidated entities, (2) goodwill impairment, (3) write-off of long-lived assets, (4) acquisition-related costs, (5) restructuring-related costs, including certain severance costs, (6) certain litigation and other related costs, and (7) one-time items. Adjusted EBITDA is a primary metric by which management evaluates the operating performance of the business, on which certain operating expenditures and internal budgets are based and by which, in addition to other factors, the Company’s senior management is compensated. The adjustments to calculate EBITDA and adjusted

31

EBITDA are items recognized and recorded under GAAP in particular periods but might be viewed as not necessarily coinciding with the underlying business operations for the periods in which they are so recognized and recorded.

Adjusted net income is defined as net income (loss) attributable to Calavo Growers, Inc. excluding (1) non-cash net losses recognized from unconsolidated entities, (2) goodwill impairment, (3) write-off of long-lived assets, (4) acquisition-related costs, (5) restructuring-related costs, including certain severance costs, (6) certain litigation and other related costs, and (7) one-time items. Adjusted net income and the related measure of adjusted diluted EPS exclude certain items that are recognized and recorded under GAAP in particular periods but might be viewed as not necessarily coinciding with the underlying business operations for the periods in which they are so recognized and recorded. We believe adjusted net income affords investors a different view of the overall financial performance of the Company than adjusted EBITDA and the GAAP measure of net income (loss) attributable to Calavo Growers, Inc.

Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures are provided in the financial tables below.

Items are considered one-time in nature if they are non-recurring, infrequent or unusual and have not occurred in the past two years or are not expected to recur in the next two years, in accordance with SEC rules. One-time items are identified in the notes to the reconciliations in the financial tables below.

Non-GAAP information should be considered as supplemental in nature and not as a substitute for, or superior to, any measure of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. None of these metrics are presented as measures of liquidity. The way the Company measures EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted diluted EPS may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies and may not be identical to corresponding measures used in Company agreements.

Adjusted Net Income (Non-GAAP, Unaudited)

The following table presents adjusted net income and adjusted diluted EPS, each a non-GAAP measure, and reconciles them to net income (loss) attributable to Calavo Growers, Inc., and Diluted EPS, which are the most directly comparable GAAP measures. See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” above (in thousands, except per share amounts).

 

Year ended October 31,

    

    

2022

    

2021

    

2020

Net loss attributable to Calavo Growers, Inc.

$

(6,249)

$

(11,818)

$

(13,625)

Non-GAAP adjustments:

 

  

 

  

 

  

Non-cash losses recognized from unconsolidated entities (a)

 

564

 

1,719

 

6,110

Loss (recovery) from FreshRealm and other related expenses (b)

 

580

 

(5,989)

 

37,577

Acquisition costs (c)

 

 

262

 

510

Net (gain) loss on Limoneira shares (d)

 

8,928

 

(3,858)

 

8,537

Rent expense add back (e)

 

432

 

396

 

108

Restructure costs - consulting, management recruiting and severance (f)

4,914

3,180

1,119

Mexican tax matters (g)

2,343

14,270

Impairment, losses and charges related to property, plant and equipment (h)

1,145

9,748

Tax impact of adjustments (i)

 

(3,788)

 

(1,690)

 

(12,773)

Adjusted net income attributed to Calavo Growers, Inc.

$

8,869

$

6,220

$

27,563

Calavo Growers, Inc.’s net income (loss) per share:

 

  

 

  

 

  

Diluted EPS (GAAP)

$

(0.35)

$

(0.67)

$

(0.78)

Adjusted Diluted EPS

$

0.50

$

0.35

$

1.57

Number of shares used in per share computation:

 

  

 

  

 

  

Diluted

 

17,663

 

17,621

 

17,564

32

(a)For the year ended October 31, 2020, FreshRealm incurred losses totaling $24.1 million, of which we recorded $7.2 million of non-cash losses during fiscal 2020.  For the years ended October 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020, we incurred income from Agricola Don Memo totaling $0.6 million, $1.7 million, and $1.1 million. In July 2021, as part of the FreshRealm Separation Agreement, FreshRealm paid Calavo the Loan Payoff Amount of $6.0 million, and we recorded the receipt on the statement of operations as a recovery of the reserve for collectability of the FreshRealm note receivable.
(b)In July 2021, as part of the FreshRealm Separation Agreement, FreshRealm paid Calavo the Loan Payoff Amount of $6.0 million, and we recorded the receipt on the statement of operations as a recovery of the reserve for collectability of the FreshRealm note receivable. In addition, we recovered $0.1 million in receivables that we previously reserved. During the third quarter of fiscal 2020, the results of operations of FreshRealm deteriorated significantly, with declining sales and continuing losses. We therefore recorded an impairment of 100% of our equity investment of $2.8 million, and we recorded a reserve for 100% of our note receivable of 34.2 million (which includes accrued interest of $4.1 million), and $0.3 million in trade accounts receivable as of October 31, 2020, which resulted in a loss of $37.3 million. For the year ended October 31, 2021 and 2020, we incurred $0.1 million and $0.3 million of professional fees related to FreshRealm and to the Loss on reserve for FreshRealm note receivable and impairment of investment. For the year ended October 31, 2022, we recognized a return to provision discrete tax expense of $0.6 million due to the finalization of the tax treatment of the loss related to the previously recorded impairment of the investment in FreshRealm.
(c)In the first quarter of fiscal 2021, we incurred professional service costs related to a considered but non-consummated acquisition. In fiscal 2020, we incurred expenses related to the acquisition of SFFI Company, Inc. doing business as Simply Fresh (SFFI). SFFI is a processor and supplier of a broad line of fresh-cut fruit, principally serving the foodservice and hospitality markets.
(d)For the years ended October 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020, we recorded losses of $8.6 million, income of $3.9 million, and losses of $8.5 million in realized and unrealized net gain (loss) on Limoneira shares.  In the year ended October 31, 2022, we sold our entire investment of 1,677,299 shares of Limoneira stock. We incurred $0.3 million of broker fees as part of the sale of Limoneira stock.
(e)For the year ended October 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020, we incurred $0.4 million, $0.4 million and $0.1 million related to rent paid for Prepared’s former corporate office space that we have vacated and plan to sublease.
(f)For fiscal 2022, 2021 and 2020, results include higher stock-based compensation expense of $0.1 million, $1.3 million and $1.1 million related to senior management transitions, which does not impact the underlying cost structure of the Company. For fiscal 2022 and 2021, we recorded $2.8 million and $0.9 million of consulting expenses related to an enterprise-wide strategic business review conducted for the purpose of restructuring to improve the profitability of the organization and efficiency of our operations. In fiscal 2022 and 2021, we incurred $2.0 million and $0.9 million related to management recruiting and severance costs in connection with the restructuring initiative.
(g)For the year ended October 31, 2022, we incurred $1.4 million of professional fees related to the Mexican tax matters. For the year ended October 31, 2022, we recognized a return to provision discrete tax expense of $0.9 million due to the finalization of the tax treatment for the final settlement of the 2011 Assessment (see below).

In June 2021, we paid $2.4 million in full settlement of the 2011 Assessment. Of this amount, $1.5 million has been recorded as a discrete item in Income Tax Provision and $0.9 million is related to value added tax expense and recorded as Expenses related to the Mexican tax matters. An additional $0.3 million of related professional fees have also been recorded as expenses related to the Mexican tax matters. See Note 7 to the consolidated financial statements for further information.

In July 2021, based on our evaluation of the most probable outcomes of the 2013 Assessment, we recorded an accrual of $11 million as a discrete item in Income Tax Provision. An additional $0.6 million of related professional fees have also been recorded as Expenses related to the Mexican tax matters. See Note 7 to the consolidated financial statements for further information.

(h)On October 18, 2021, we announced the closure of Prepared’s food processing operations at our Green Cove Springs (near Jacksonville), Florida facility, as part of our Project Uno profit improvement program. As of November 15, 2021, the Green Cove facility for our Prepared segment has ceased operations. We wrote down $8.7 million of leasehold improvements, $0.1 million of equipment, and $0.6 million of inventory (recognized through cost of goods sold). We also paid $0.4 million in employee severance. We incurred $0.9 million of expenses for the year ended October 31, 2022, related to the closure of this facility.
(i)Tax impact of non-GAAP adjustments are based on the prevailing year-to-date tax rates in each period and adjusted to the one-time tax charges mentioned in note (b) above.

33

Reconciliation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA (Non-GAAP, Unaudited)

The following table presents EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA, each a non-GAAP measure, and reconciles them to net income (loss) attributable to Calavo Growers, Inc., which is the most directly comparable GAAP measure. See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” above (in thousands, except per share amounts).

    

 

Year ended October 31,

    

    

2022

    

2021

    

2020

Net loss attributable to Calavo Growers, Inc.

 

$

(6,249)

$

(11,818)

$

(13,625)

Interest Income

 

(500)

(335)

(1,998)

Interest Expense

 

1,686

 

798

 

877

Provision for Income Taxes

 

3,251

 

10,747

 

(4,292)

Depreciation & Amortization

 

16,589

 

17,571

 

16,093

Stock-Based Compensation

 

3,139

 

3,950

 

4,487

EBITDA

$

17,916

$

20,913

$

1,542

Adjustments:

 

  

 

  

 

  

Non-cash losses recognized from unconsolidated entities (a)

 

564

 

1,719

 

6,110

Net (gain) loss on Limoneira shares (d)

 

8,928

 

(3,858)

 

8,537

Loss (recovery) from FreshRealm and other related expenses (b)

 

 

(5,989)

 

37,577

Rent expense add back (e)

 

432

 

396

 

108

Acquisition costs (c)

 

 

262

 

510

Restructure costs - consulting and management recruiting and severance (f)

4,775

1,833

Expenses related to Mexican tax matters (g)

1,417

1,797

Impairment, losses and charges related to property, plant and equipment (h)

1,115

9,748

Adjusted EBITDA

$

35,147

$

26,821

$

54,384

Adjusted EBITDA per dilutive share

$

1.98

$

1.52

$

3.10

See prior page for footnote references

Net Sales

We believe that the fundamental consumption trends for our products continue to be favorable. First, U.S. avocado demand continues to grow, with per capita consumption in 2021/2022 per USDA reaching 8.4 pounds per person, and approximately 65% higher than the estimate from a decade ago. We believe that the healthy eating trend that has been developing in the U.S. contributes to such growth, as avocados are cholesterol and sodium free, dense in fiber, vitamin B6, antioxidants, potassium, folate, and contain unsaturated fat, which helps lower cholesterol. Also, a growing number of research studies seem to suggest that phytonutrients, which avocados are rich in, help fight chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer.

Additionally, we believe that the demographic changes in the U.S. will impact the consumption of avocados and avocado-based products. The Hispanic community currently accounts for approximately 20% of the U.S. population and the total number of Hispanics is estimated to double by the year 2050. Avocados are considered a staple item purchased by Hispanic consumers, as the per-capita avocado consumption in Mexico is significantly higher than that of the U.S.

We anticipate avocado products will further penetrate the United States marketplace, driven by year-round availability of imported fresh avocados, a rapidly growing Hispanic population, and the promotion of the health benefits of avocados. As one of the largest marketers of avocado products in the United States, we believe that we are well positioned to leverage this trend and to grow our avocado and guacamole products business. Additionally, we also believe that avocados and avocado based products will further penetrate other marketplaces that we currently operate in as interest in avocados continues to expand.

34

In October 2002, the USDA announced the creation of a Hass Avocado Board to promote the sale of Hass variety avocados in the U.S. marketplace. This board provides a basis for a unified funding of promotional activities based on an assessment on all avocados sold in the U.S. marketplace. The California Avocado Commission, which receives its funding from California avocado growers, has historically shouldered the promotional and advertising costs supporting avocado sales. We believe that the incremental funding of promotional and advertising programs in the U.S. will, in the long term, positively impact average selling prices and will favorably impact our avocado businesses. During fiscal 2022, 2021 and 2020, on behalf of avocado growers, we remitted approximately $1.5 million, $1.0 million and $1.3 million to the California Avocado Commission. During fiscal 2022, 2021 and 2020, we remitted approximately $8.1 million, $8.3 million and $8.4 million to the Hass Avocado Board related to avocados. Similarly, Avocados from Mexico (AFM) was formed in 2013 as the marketing arm of the Mexican Hass Avocados Importers Association (MHAIA) and the Association of Growers and Packers of Avocados From Mexico (APEAM). During fiscal 2022, 2021 and 2020, we remitted approximately $4.2 million, $5.7 million and $5.2 million to APEAM primarily related to these marketing activities for Mexican avocados.

We also believe that our other Grown products, primarily tomatoes, are positioned for future growth. The tomato is the fourth most popular fresh-market vegetable (though a fruit scientifically speaking, tomatoes are more commonly considered a vegetable) behind potatoes, lettuce, and onions in the U.S. Although stabilizing in the first decade of the 2000s, annual average fresh-market tomato consumption remains well above that of the previous decade. Over the past few decades, per capita consumption of tomatoes has been on the rise due primarily to the enduring popularity of salads, salad bars, and submarine sandwiches. Perhaps of greater importance has been the introduction of new and improved tomato varieties, the increased development of hot-house grown tomatoes (such as those grown by our ADM affiliate), heightened consumer interest in a wider range of tomatoes, a surge of new immigrants who eat vegetable-intensive diets, and expanding national emphasis on health and nutrition.

Papayas have become more popular as consumption in the U.S. has more than doubled in the past decade. Papayas have high nutritional benefits. They are rich in anti-oxidants, B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid, potassium and magnesium, and fiber.

Additionally, through our Prepared segment we have expanded and accelerated the Company’s presence in the fast-growing refrigerated fresh packaged foods category through an array of retail product lines for produce, deli, and foodservice departments. Prepared products include guacamole products (including both frozen and fresh), salsa, fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, fresh prepared entrée salads, wraps, sandwiches, parfaits and fresh snacking products, as well as ready-to-heat entrees and other hot bar and various deli items, meals kit components and salad kits. Value-added fruits and vegetables have continued to grow faster than their broader produce categories as consumers increasingly place value on the convenient nature of those products and producers to develop new formulations of value-added products. Our Prepared segment has also expanded the capacity to provide products for a larger portion of the Fresh Deli department.

35

The following tables set forth sales by product category and sales allowances, by segment (dollars in thousands):

Year ended October 31, 2022

Year ended October 31, 2021

 

 

Grown

Prepared

Total

Grown

Prepared

Total

 

Third-party sales:

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

Avocados

$

645,944

$

$

645,944

$

536,969

$

$

536,969

Tomatoes

 

47,288

 

 

47,288

 

43,658

 

 

43,658

Papayas

 

11,422

 

 

11,422

 

10,884

 

 

10,884

Other fresh income

 

123

 

 

123

 

693

 

 

693

Fresh-cut fruit

204,433

204,433

205,087

205,087

Fresh-cut vegetables

107,332

107,332

102,291

102,291

Prepared products

 

 

114,396

 

114,396

 

 

95,639

 

95,639

Guacamole

 

74,970

 

74,970

 

 

75,681

 

75,681

Salsa

 

 

1,860

 

1,860

 

 

2,784

 

2,784

Total gross sales

 

704,777

 

502,991

 

1,207,768

 

592,204

 

481,482

 

1,073,686

Less sales allowances

 

(4,507)

 

(10,123)

 

(14,630)

 

(3,677)

 

(11,682)

 

(15,359)

Less inter-company eliminations

(2,065)

(2,065)

(2,497)

(2,497)

Net sales

$

698,205

$

492,868

$

1,191,073

$

586,030

$

469,800

$

1,055,830

Year ended October 31, 2021

Year ended October 31, 2020

 

 

Grown

Prepared

Total

Grown

Prepared

Total

 

Third-party sales:

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

Avocados

$

536,969

$

$

536,969

$

521,542

$

$

521,542

Tomatoes

 

43,658

 

 

43,658

 

53,922

 

 

53,922

Papayas

 

10,884

 

 

10,884

 

10,529

 

 

10,529

Other fresh income

 

693

 

 

693

 

327

 

 

327

Fresh-cut fruit

205,087

205,087

204,766

204,766

Fresh-cut vegetables

 

 

102,291

 

102,291

 

 

113,460

 

113,460

Prepared products

95,639

95,639

88,346

88,346

Guacamole

75,681

75,681

75,409

75,409

Salsa

 

 

2,784

 

2,784

 

 

2,783

 

2,783

Total gross sales

 

592,204

 

481,482

 

1,073,686

 

586,320

 

484,764

 

1,071,084

Less sales allowances

 

(3,677)

 

(11,682)

 

(15,359)

 

(1,268)

 

(8,794)

 

(10,062)

Less inter-company eliminations

(2,497)

(2,497)

(1,651)

(1,651)

Net sales

$

586,030

$

469,800

$

1,055,830

$

583,401

$

475,970

$

1,059,371

Net sales to third parties by segment exclude inter-segment sales and cost of sales. For fiscal years 2022, 2021 and 2020, inter-segment sales and cost of sales of $2.1 million, $2.5 million and $1.7 million between the Grown segment and the Prepared segment were eliminated.

36

The following table summarizes our net sales by business segment:

2022

Change

2021

Change

2020

 

Gross sales:

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

Grown

$

700,270

19

%  

$

588,527

1

%  

$

585,052

Prepared

 

492,868

5

%  

 

469,800

(1)

%  

 

475,970

Less intercompany eliminations

(2,065)

(17)

%  

(2,497)

51

%  

(1,651)

Total net sales

$

1,191,073

13

%  

$

1,055,830

(0)

%  

$

1,059,371

As a percentage of sales:

Grown

 

58.7

%  

 

55.6

%  

 

55.1

%  

Prepared

 

41.3

%  

 

44.4

%  

 

44.9

%  

 

100

%  

 

100

%  

 

100

%  

Summary

Net sales for the year ended October 31, 2022, as compared to 2021, increased by approximately $135.2 million or 13%. The increase in sales for the year ended October 31, 2022, when compared to the prior year period, was due to an increase in both Grown and Prepared segments.

For the year ended October 31, 2022, the increase in Grown product sales was primarily due to an increase in price per unit of avocados offset by lower sales volume resulting from industry-wide constraints of fruit available for purchase in Mexico. For the year ended October 31, 2022, the increase in Prepared product sales was due primarily to increased per unit sales prices of fresh-cut fruit and vegetables and prepared foods products.

Our Grown and Prepared segments of our business are subject to seasonal trends which can impact the volume and/or quality of raw materials sourced in any particular quarter. All intercompany sales are eliminated in our consolidated results of operations.

In the third quarter of fiscal 2022, we have begun importing avocados into the United States from our subsidiary Avocados de Jalisco. We expect this volume to increase in fiscal 2023.

Grown Products

Fiscal 2022 vs. Fiscal 2021:

Net sales for the Grown products business increased by approximately $111.7 million, or 19%, for the year ended October 31, 2022, compared to prior year period. This increase in Grown product sales during the year ended October 31, 2022, was due primarily to increased sales prices of avocados associated with lower overall supply of avocados in the marketplace. In addition, tomato sales increased due to an increase in overall sales volume, partially offset by a decrease in sales prices.

Sales of avocados increased $108.1 million, or 20%, for the year ended October 31, 2022, compared to the prior year period. The average avocado sales price per carton increased 37% compared to the prior year period. This increase in the sales price per carton was mainly due to a decrease of supply of avocados in the marketplace. The volume of avocados sold for the year ended October 31, 2022, decreased 12% compared to the prior year period.

Sales of tomatoes increased $3.6 million, or 8%, for the year ended October 31, 2022, when compared to the prior year period. This increase in tomato sales was due primarily to a 9% increase in the cartons sold of tomatoes, partially offset by a 1% decrease in average sales prices per carton.

37

Fiscal 2021 vs. Fiscal 2020:

Net sales delivered by the Grown products business increased by approximately $3.5 million, or 1%, for the year ended October 31, 2021, when compared to prior year period. This increase in Grown product sales during fiscal 2021, was primarily related to increased sales prices, partially offset by a decrease in sales of tomatoes.

Sales of avocados increased $13.0 million, or 3%, for the year ended October 31, 2021, when compared to the prior year period. The average avocado sales price per carton increased 3% compared to the prior year period.

Sales of tomatoes decreased $10.3 million, or 19%, for the year ended October 31, 2021, when compared to the prior year period. This decrease in tomato sales was primarily due to a 21% decrease in the average sales price per carton compared to the prior year period. This was partially offset by an increase of 2% in the volume of tomatoes.

Prepared products

Fiscal 2022 vs. Fiscal 2021:

Net sales for the Prepared products business increased by approximately $23.5 million, or 5%, for the year ended October 31, 2022 compared to the prior year period. This increase in Prepared product sales during the year ended October 31, 2022 was due primarily to increased sales prices of fresh-cut fruit & vegetables and prepared foods products. Partially offsetting these increases was a decrease in sales of guacamole products due to overall lower sales volume.

Net sales for fresh-cut fruit and vegetables and prepared foods products for the year ended October 31, 2022 compared to the prior year period increased $27.1 million, or 7%. This increase primarily reflects price increases of 14% as well as a favorable product mix, partially offset by a 7% decrease in sales volumes.

Net sales for guacamole products for the year ended October 31, 2022 compared to the prior year period decreased $3.2 million, or 4%, primarily due to a decrease in the total volume sold.

Fiscal 2021 vs. Fiscal 2020:

Net sales for the Prepared products business decreased by approximately $6.2 million, or 2%, for the year ended October 31, 2021 compared to the prior year period.

Net sales for fresh-cut fruit and vegetables and prepared foods products for the year ended October 31, 2021, when compared to the prior year period, decreased $8.3 million, or 2%. The decrease was primarily due to lower sales out of the Midwest, relating to the closure of Prepared’s co-packing partner in that region, which occurred in April 2020. This was partially offset by additional sales in regions where we added manufacturing capacity. Additionally, changing consumer demand and buying patterns related to COVID-19 adversely impacted Prepared’s sales during the year ended October 31, 2021.

Sales of guacamole products increased by approximately $2.3 million, or 3%, primarily related to an increase in the sales price per pound, partially offset by a decrease in pounds sold. The decline in pounds sold of guacamole products was due to a decline in demand from foodservice customers related to COVID-19 during the year.

38

Gross Profit

The following table summarizes our gross profit and gross profit percentages by business segment:

 

2022

Change

2021

Change

2020

 

(Dollars in thousands)

Gross profit (loss):

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

Grown

$