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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, 2020

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 if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 232.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of Registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.

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, 2020 (the last business day of the Registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was approximately $0.9 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, 2020 was 17,689,818.

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Portions of the Registrant's Proxy Statement for the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which we intend to hold on April 21, 2021 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, 2020.

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 (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, gain/(loss) on Limoneira shares, 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, whether attributable to Calavo or any of its unconsolidated entities; any statements regarding pending investigations, legal claims or tax disputes; any statements of expectation or belief; any risks associated with doing business internationally (including possible restrictive U.S. and foreign governmental actions, such as restrictions on transfers of funds and COVID-19 and trade protection measures such as import/export/customs duties, tariffs and/or quotas); any risks associated with receivables from and/or equity investments in unconsolidated entities; system security risk and cyber-attacks and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing.

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 impact of COVID-19 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 in light of COVID-19, increased costs that we must incur as a result of COVID-19, 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; the impact of macroeconomic trends and events; the competitive pressures faced by Calavo's business; the development and transition of new products and services (and the enhancement of existing products and services) to meet customer needs; integration and other risks associated with acquisitions of other businesses; our ability to hire and retain key employees; the resolution of pending investigations, legal claims and tax disputes; the risks associated with doing business internationally (including possible restrictive U.S. and foreign governmental actions, such as restrictions on transfers of funds and COVID-19 and trade protection measures such as import/export/customs duties, tariffs and/or quotas); any risks associated with receivables from and/or equity investments in unconsolidated entities; and potential cyber-attacks on our information technology systems or on the information technology systems of our suppliers or customers.

2

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 avocados, 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 . We distribute our products both domestically and internationally and report our operations in three different business segments: Fresh products, Calavo Foods and Renaissance Food Group (RFG). See Note 10 in our consolidated financial statements 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.

On October 9, 2001, we completed a series of transactions whereby common and preferred shareholders of Calavo Growers of California (the Cooperative), an agricultural marketing cooperative association, exchanged all of their outstanding shares for shares of our common stock. Concurrent with this transaction, the Cooperative was merged into us with Calavo Growers, Inc. emerging as the surviving entity. These transactions had the effect of converting the legal structure of the business from a non-profit cooperative to a for-profit corporation.

In April 2019, we sold our Temecula, California packinghouse for $7.1 million in cash and, concurrently, leased back a portion of the facility representing approximately one-third of the total square footage.  This generated a gain of $6.4 million. Since our leaseback of the building is classified as a capital lease and covers substantially all of the leased property, the gain recognized currently is the amount of the gain in excess of the recorded amount of the leased asset. As a result, we recognized a gain of approximately $1.9 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2019 and recorded a deferred gain of $4.5 million, which will be recognized over the life of the lease (i.e. straight-line over 15 years).

During our third quarter of fiscal year 2019, we entered into a 10-year building and equipment lease for a fresh food facility in Conley, GA.  This facility is primarily intended to process fresh-cut fruit & vegetables and prepared foods products for our RFG business segment.  Annual rent for the building and equipment approximates $0.9 million and $0.6 million over the life of the lease. The lease for the equipment is considered to be a capital lease, therefore, we calculated the present value of the minimum lease payments related to the equipment and recorded $2.8 million as a capital lease and lease obligation.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019, we opened a new production facility in Clackamas, Oregon. This facility will be part of our network of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and organic certified fresh food facilities.

During the second quarter of fiscal year 2020, we completed our acquisition of SFFI Company, Inc. doing business as Simply Fresh Fruit (SFFI). We paid $18.4 million in cash for 100% of SFFI (net of cash acquired). Founded in 1999 and based in Vernon, Calif., privately held SFFI is a processor and supplier of a broad line of fresh-cut fruit, principally serving the foodservice and hospitality markets. Its focus in those industries is anticipated to be highly complementary to the retail-grocery expertise of Calavo’s RFG business segment and will be included in the RFG segment going forward.

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

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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.

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.

Fresh products

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 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 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. 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 our 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 tentatively agreed to, the fruit is then harvested and delivered to our packinghouses located in Mexico. We also purchase fruit directly from third-party Mexican packers as a supplemental source and that fruit is 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

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our packinghouses and distribution centers. 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 differentiate our products and services from those offered by our competitors. Some of these key programs are as follows:

Value-Added Ripening: Retailers are continually demanding 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 address the consumers' immediate 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.

The avocado market is highly competitive with over one hundred U.S. avocado marketers and/or importers, such as Calavo, seeking to source avocados from more than 25,000 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 solid position as one of the top avocado distributors to the competitiveness of the per pound returns we pay and 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 Fresh products business segment also markets and distributes select 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 our other various types of fruit complement our offerings of avocados.

Calavo Foods

The Calavo Foods segment was originally conceived as a mechanism to stabilize the price of California avocados by reducing the volume of fresh, whole avocados available to the marketplace. In the 1960s and early 1970s, we pioneered the process of freezing avocado pulp and developed a wide variety of guacamole recipes to address the diverse tastes of consumers and buyers in both the retail and foodservice industries. One of the key benefits of frozen products is their relatively longer shelf-life. With the introduction of low cost processed products delivered from Mexican based processors and the growing customer demand for more prepared avocado products, we shifted the fruit procurement and pulp processing functions of our Calavo Foods segment to Mexico.

We utilize ultra-high pressure technology equipment, which is designed to protect and safeguard foods, without the need of preservatives, on all of our prepared avocado and guacamole products.  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 various retail, club, and foodservice customers throughout the markets we service in the U.S and abroad.  While the majority of our Calavo Foods products are produced in our Uruapan, Mexico production facility, we also often utilize high-quality co-packers (using similar ultra-high pressure technology) from time-to-time, to produce several of our retail and foodservice products. Co-packers are required to source from USDA certified growers, and comply with all local and U.S. rules and regulations.

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For fiscal 2020, we believe our capacity will be sufficient for our expected growth due to a combination of production-enhancing initiatives at our facility and the further development of our network of co-packers. Net sales of our fresh, refrigerated (non-frozen) products, typically sold to retail customers, represented approximately 63% and 62% of total guacamole sales within the Calavo Foods segment for the years ended October 31, 2020 and 2019. The remaining sales of Calavo Foods consist primarily of frozen products.

Sales in the U.S. and Canada are made principally through a commissioned nationwide broker network, which is supported by our regional sales managers. We believe that our marketing strength is distinguished by providing quality products, innovation, year-round product availability, strategically located warehouses, and market relationships.

RFG

Acquired in June of 2011, Renaissance Food Group is a leader in the fast-growing refrigerated fresh packaged foods category. RFG creates, markets, and distributes nationally a portfolio of healthy, high quality fresh packaged food products for consumers via the retail and other channels, including national and regional supermarkets, club stores, mass merchandisers, convenience stores, and specialty/natural retailers. As a leader in refrigerated fresh packaged foods, RFG utilizes a network of company-operated and independently-operated USDA and organic certified fresh food facilities strategically located across the U.S. These facilities allow RFG 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 RFG’s speed to market, product innovation and broad product portfolio position the Company well to serve retailers addressing this consumer trend. RFG products include 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 kits and related components and salad kits. RFG 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. Backed by Calavo’s resources, the business unit continues to expand its footprint of company-operated manufacturing locations and to develop its customer relationships in the retail grocery channel.

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.

Customers

We sell to retail grocery, foodservice, club stores, mass merchandisers, food distributors and wholesale customers. Our top ten customers accounted for approximately 56%, 59% and 59% of our consolidated net sales in fiscal years 2020, 2019 and 2018. Sales to our largest customer, Kroger (including its affiliates), represented approximately 18%, 21%, and 20% of net sales in each of fiscal years 2020, 2019, and 2018. Additionally, Wal-Mart (including its affiliates) represented approximately 12%, 13%, and 10% of net sales in fiscal years 2020, 2019, and 2018. No other single customer accounted for more than 10% of our net sales in any of the last three fiscal years.

Patents and Trademarks

Our trademarks include the Calavo and RFG 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!, Garden Highway Fresh Cut, Garden Highway, and Garden Highway Chef Essentials.

Working Capital Requirements

Generally, we make payments to our avocado growers and other suppliers in advance of collecting all of the related accounts receivable. We generally bridge the timing between vendor payments and customer receipts by using operating

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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.

With respect to our Calavo Foods and RFG segments, we require working capital to finance the production of our prepared food products, building and maintaining an adequate supply of finished product, and collecting our accounts receivable balances. These working capital needs are financed through the use of operating cash flows and bank borrowings.

Backlog

Our Fresh and RFG customers do not place product orders significantly in advance of the requested product delivery dates. Foods customers typically order perishable products one to ten days in advance of shipment, and typically order Calavo Foods within thirty days in advance of shipment.

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 year 2020 was approximately $0.7 million. For fiscal years 2019 and 2018 total research and development were less than $0.1 million.

Compliance with Government Regulations

As a manufacturer and marketer of consumable products, our operations are subject to extensive regulation by various federal government agencies, including the 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 safety, purity and labeling. In addition, advertising of our products is subject to regulation by the FTC, and our operations are subject to certain 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 California State Department of Food and Agriculture (CFDA), which oversees weights & measures compliance at our California facilities. All of our US facilities are also in compliance 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.

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.

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.

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Employees

As of October 31, 2020, we had 3,971 employees, of which 1,834 were located in the United States and 2,137 were located in Mexico. We do not have a significant number of United States employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Approximately 1,900 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, 2020.

Location

    

Salaried

    

Hourly

    

Total

United States

 

358

 

1,476

 

1,834

Mexico

 

215

 

1,922

 

2,137

TOTAL

 

573

 

3,398

 

3,971

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 conditions. 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 Operation" 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 are adversely affecting, and will likely continue to adversely affect, our business operations, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows and we are unable to predict the extent to which the global COVID-19 pandemic may continue to adversely impact our business operations, financial performance and results of operations.

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 are expected to continue to have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and 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. We are actively monitoring COVID-19 impacts on our supply chain and distribution channels and restrictions on or disruptions of transportation or increased border controls or closures, or other impacts on domestic and global supply chains or 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.

In addition, we have taken and will continue to take temporary precautionary measures intended to help minimize the risk of COVID-19 to our employees, including implementation of health and safety measures to protect our employees, supplementing our workforce to compensate for employees disabled or temporarily unable to perform their duties, and temporary disruptions at certain of our manufacturing facilities, which could negatively affect our business. Some of these precautionary measures, and similar precautionary measures that we may take in the future, may result in additional costs. These conditions could lead to more prolonged disruptions and adverse financial impact in the future.

The mandated shelter in place and social distancing measures which are we are required to follow create challenges for the successful operation of our facilities. These same measures also impact the ability of our vendors, suppliers, logistics providers, distributors, and customers, to ultimately support the delivery of our products to consumers.

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Uncertain Future Consumer Demand –

While we have not experienced a significant loss of demand for our products during the COVID-19 pandemic, continued economic deterioration in the markets in which our products are sold, including unemployment, reductions in disposable income, declining consumer confidence, and perception of our products as non-essential, could result in future declines in the demand for our products. Further, COVID-19 has resulted in a widespread health crisis that has affected and is expected to continue to adversely affect the economies and financial markets of many countries and most areas of the United States, which may affect our ability to obtain additional financing for our businesses and demand for our products and services.

Costs to confront the COVID-19 Pandemic –

We have incurred and may be required to continue to incur for an indeterminable period, 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. 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.

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 results in a prolonged adverse impact on our operating results, our goodwill and other intangibles assets may be at risk of future impairment.

We have significant goodwill and intangibles balances recorded with respect to our RFG 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 RFG, although no impairment of the related goodwill and intangibles balances has occurred during the year ended October 31, 2020. However, we cannot predict the effects that any continued adverse conditions from the pandemic may have on the future impairment of these assets.

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);
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 slight 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 all of these factors, including the availability and quality of the produce item in the market, and the availability and quality of competing types of produce.

 

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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 evolve away from products that we produce for 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, 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 significantly 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 because 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.

We have an infrastructure that has sufficient capacity for our production needs, 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. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, which could impact our results of operations and our 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 beneficial to the Company 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 cost effectively produce our products 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 low cost 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. They include 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

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limiting specific forms of transportation could have an adverse effect on our ability to serve our customers and consumers and could have an adverse effect on our financial performance.

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 entail 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. Computer programmers and hackers also may be able to develop and deploy viruses, worms, and other malicious software programs that attack our products or otherwise exploit any security vulnerabilities of our products. In addition, sophisticated hardware and operating system software and applications that we produce or 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. Calavo carries insurance, including cyber insurance, commensurate with its size and the nature of its 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.

On Friday, November 29, 2019, certain computer systems at Calavo became encrypted by ransomware, which prevented them from operating.  We immediately took steps to isolate those systems and implemented measures to prevent additional systems from being affected, including taking systems offline as a precaution.  Third party forensic experts were engaged to assist our IT team to restore those affected systems to operation. We have not experienced, nor do we believe there has been, any material impact to divisional operating activities nor our controls over financial reporting. To date, we have found no evidence of data exfiltration or misappropriation.

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 and Walmart, our largest customers, amounted to approximately 21% and 13% of our total net sales in 2019. 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,

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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.

Human Capital Risks

We depend on our key personnel and if we lose the services of any of these individuals, or fail to attract and retain additional key personnel, we may not be able to implement our business strategy or operate our business effectively.

Our future success largely depends on the contributions of our management team. We believe that these individuals’ expertise and knowledge about our industry and their respective fields and their relationships with other individuals in our industry are critical factors to our continued growth and success. We do not carry key person insurance. The loss of the services of any member of our senior management team could have a material adverse effect on our business and prospects. Our success also depends upon our ability to attract and retain additional qualified sales, marketing and other personnel.

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.

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 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 furthermore, our co-packers are required to maintain insurance. But we are still subject to risks related to the production of fresh and processed foods.

12

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.
Avocados 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 both RFG’s sales and profitability.  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

13

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/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.

Regulatory 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 serves as a risk multiplier increasing 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.

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 IRS), 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.

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

14

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 the most 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. Because we do not hedge against our foreign currency exposure, our business has increased 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. Although we do not currently foresee the need for significant additional financing, with the exception of our existing credit facility, and we have not made arrangements to obtain additional financing, we may not be able to obtain additional financing, if required, in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, or at all.

15

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 a number of 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 FreshRealm and 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.

On May 20, 2020, the SEC issued a final rule regarding the financial statement requirements for acquisitions and dispositions of a business, which included, among other things, amending (1) certain criteria in the significance tests for equity method investees, such as introducing a revenue component when calculating the income test, (ii) related pro forma financial information requirements including its form and content, and (iii) related disclosure requirements, including the number of acquiree financial statement periods required to be presented in SEC filings. The final rule is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 31, 2020, with early application permitted. The Company determined to adopt this SEC final rule as of October 31, 2020, and as a result, the Company’s investment in FreshRealm was no longer considered a significant subsidiary.

In fiscal 2019, we implemented an Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-01, Financial Instruments, Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Liabilities, which requires equity investments (except those accounted for under the equity method of accounting, such as FreshRealm and Don Memo) to be measured at fair value with changes in fair value recognized in net income. This adoption impacted our equity investment in Limoneira Company (Limoneira); and as a result, fluctuations in the Limoneira stock price (to be measured, as per the ASU, from quarter-end to quarter-end) are reflected as unrealized gain/(loss) on equity securities in our income statement, and therefore, increase or decrease our overall profitability significantly. Furthermore, from time-to-time we may choose to buy or sell Limoneira shares via methods of execution that are available to us; and to the extent we buy or sell stock in Limoneira, we may also report realized gain/(loss) on equity securities.

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 negatively impact, in a material way, our financial results in the period such determination is made. As noted earlier, we do not control the operations of FreshRealm or 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.

We have recorded an impairment of 100% of our equity investment in FreshRealm of $2.8 million, and we have recorded a reserve for collectability of 100% of our note receivable balance from FreshRealm 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, which is included in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations under “Loss on reserve for FreshRealm note receivable and impairment of investment”.

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, by many factors, including:

Our operating and financial performance and prospects;
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;

16

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.

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, RFG leases its 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:

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.

17

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. This facility also 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

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

RFG 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

RFG 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

RFG 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.

18

eased

Leased or Owned:

City

State

Description

Leased

Clackamas

Oregon

Opened in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, this RFG 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 RFG 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 Calavo Foods processing facility produces our guacamole products. While we believe the capacity is reasonable given our current sales, we are considering various plans to enhance our production capacity.

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.

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.

Executive Officers of the Registrant

The following table sets forth the name, age and position of individuals who hold positions as executive officers of our company. There are no family relationships between any director or executive officer and any other director or executive officer of our company. Executive officers are elected by our board of directors and serve at the discretion of the board.

Name

    

Age

    

Position

James Gibson

 

58

 

Chief Executive Officer

Kevin Manion

62

Chief Financial Officer

Mark Lodge

 

53

 

Chief Operations Officer

Robert Wedin

 

71

 

Executive Vice President, Fresh Sales

Ronald Araiza

 

61

 

Vice President, Foods Operations

19

James Gibson has served as our Chief Executive Officer since February 2020. Prior to his recent appointment as Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Gibson served as President of RFG from November 2017 to January 2020 and previously served as Chief Operating Officer and a founding member of RFG from March 2003 to November 2017.

Kevin Manion has served as our Chief Financial Officer since May 2020. Prior to his recent appointment as Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Manion held financial leadership positions with companies including Century Snacks, Young’s Market Company, Bolthouse Farms, Hostess Brands, Nestle USA and Kraft General Foods. Mr. Manion served as Chief Financial officer of Centre for Neuro Skills from January 2019 to April 2020, Chief Financial Officer of Green Dot Corporation from October 2016 to January 2019, and Chief Financial Officer of New Century Snacks/Snak Club from March 2015 to October 2016. Mr. Manion began his career in public accounting at Arthur Andersen & Co.

Mark Lodge has served as our Chief Operations Officer since August 2020. From October 2019 to August 2020, Mr. Lodge has served as Executive Vice President of RFG Business Operations. Prior to joining Calavo, Mr. Lodge held the role of Executive Vice President from May 2017 to October 2019 for Revolution Foods supplying all-natural school meals across the United States.  Prior to Revolution Foods, Mr. Lodge was President of True Fresh HPP and True Food Innovations from January 2016 to February 2017 and was previously instrumental in the identification and implementation of the Fresh & Easy manufacturing business in the United States for Tesco, plc.

Robert Wedin has served as our Executive Vice President since August 2020, and prior was Vice President since 1993. Mr. Wedin joined us in 1973 at our then Santa Barbara packinghouse. Beginning in 1990, Mr. Wedin served as a director of the California Avocado Commission for a period of ten years. Mr. Wedin currently is a board member of Producesupply.org and serves as a member of that organization's executive committee.

Ronald Araiza has served as our Vice President since January 2017. Mr. Araiza served as Vice President at Del Rey Avocado from January 2015 to January 2016. He also served as Vice President at Mission Produce from January 1997 to May of 2015.

PART II

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

In March 2002, our common stock began trading on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol "CVGW." In July 2002, our common stock began trading on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol "CVGW" and currently trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

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 2020

    

High

    

Low

 

First Quarter

$

94.37

$

76.61

Second Quarter

$

77.71

$

51.07

Third Quarter

$

64.70

$

52.94

Fourth Quarter

$

69.73

$

57.04

Fiscal 2019

    

High

    

Low

 

First Quarter

$

99.90

$

70.57

Second Quarter

$

94.57

$

75.59

Third Quarter

$

97.65

$

84.88

Fourth Quarter

$

97.24

$

84.93

As of November 30, 2020, there were approximately 779 stockholders of record of our common stock.

20

Dividend Policy

Our dividend policy is to provide for an annual dividend payment, as determined by the Board of Directors. We generally pay an annual dividend in the first quarter of our fiscal year.

On October 26, 2020, we declared a dividend of $1.15 per share. On December 4, 2020, we paid the aggregate amount of $20.3 million to shareholders of record on November 13, 2020. On December 6, 2019, we paid a $1.10 per share dividend in the aggregate amount of $19.4 million to shareholders of record on November 15, 2019.

21

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, 2015 and ending October 31, 2020. 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, 2015. 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

 

 

10/31/15

10/31/16

10/31/17

10/31/18

10/31/19

10/31/20

Calavo Growers, Inc.

100.00

116.86

147.63

196.82

177.80

139.42

NASDAQ Composite

100.00

103.97

136.34

149.61

171.71

228.10

Peer Group

100.00

95.71

90.44

87.74

91.03

127.43

22

Item 6. Selected Financial Data

SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The following summary of consolidated financial data (other than information regarding the volume of products sold) for each of the years in the five-year period ended October 31, 2020, are derived from the audited consolidated financial statements of Calavo Growers, Inc.

Historical results are not necessarily indicative of results that may be expected in any future period. The following data should be read in conjunction with "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto that are included elsewhere in this Annual Report.

Fiscal Year Ended October 31, 

 

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

 

 

(In thousands, except per share data)

 

Statement of Operations Data: (1)(2)(4)(6)(8)

  

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

Net sales

$

1,059,371

$

1,195,777

$

1,088,758

$

1,075,565

$

935,679

Gross profit

 

89,898

 

128,082

 

113,616

 

114,544

 

107,534

Selling, general and administrative

 

57,952

 

59,113

 

57,081

 

56,651

 

46,440

Net income (loss) attributable to Calavo Growers, Inc.

 

(13,625)

 

36,646

 

32,281

 

37,270

 

38,022

Basic net income (loss) per share

$

(0.78)

$

2.09

$

1.85

$

2.14

$

2.19

Diluted net income (loss) per share

$

(0.78)

$

2.08

$

1.84

$

2.13

$

2.18

Adjusted EBITDA (see MD&A for calc)

54,384

87,258

75,038

73,329

70,987

Adjusted EBITDA per share

3.10

4.96

4.27

4.19

4.07

Balance Sheet Data as of End of Period:

Working capital

$

29,564

$

36,886

$

29,567

$

3,661

$

25,612

Total assets (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)

 

429,624

 

390,360

 

367,736

 

364,117

 

327,933

Accrued expenses

 

36,922

 

39,629

 

38,521

 

39,946

 

31,095

Current portion of long-term obligations (4) (5)

 

1,343

 

762

 

118

 

129

 

138

Long-term obligations, less current portion (4) (5)

 

5,716

 

5,412

 

314

 

439

 

445

Shareholders' equity

 

256,002

 

285,869

 

264,959

 

244,122

 

215,069

Cash Flows Provided by (Used in):

Operations

$

28,878

$

72,099

$

48,426

$

62,140

$

61,968

Investing activities (2)(3)(4)(5)(9)

 

(31,931)

 

(31,850)

 

(30,204)

 

(53,668)

 

(21,731)

Financing activities (3)

 

(865)

 

(33,796)

 

(23,327)

 

(15,689)

 

(33,566)

Other Data:

Cash dividends declared per share

$

1.15

$

1.10

$

1.00

$

0.95

$

0.90

Net book value per share

$

14.61

$

16.23

$

15.11

$

13.92

$

12.33

Pounds of avocados sold

 

379,910

 

354,754

 

357,013

 

299,338

 

387,745

Pounds of processed avocados products sold

 

25,480

 

32,016

 

32,333

 

29,911

 

26,773

Average sales price per pound - avocados

1.37

1.60

1.43

1.82

1.27

Gross profit per pound - avocados

0.11

0.23

0.14

0.23

0.14

Average sales price per pound - processed products

2.84

2.86

2.63

2.36

2.24

Gross profit per pound - processed products

0.82

0.65

0.81

0.44

0.83

23

(1)During fiscal 2020, 2019 and 2018, we have recognized $7.2 million, $14.1 million and $12.0 million in losses from FreshRealm, which has been recorded as losses from unconsolidated entities.

(2)During fiscal 2020, 2018, 2017 and 2016, we contributed $1.5 million, $3.5 million, $7.5 million and $3.2 million as investments in FreshRealm. Our total investment of $5.8 million, $19.9 million, $28.4 million and $21.0 million in FreshRealm as of October 31, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016, has been recorded as investment in unconsolidated subsidiaries on our balance sheet. During fiscal 2020, we have recorded an impairment of 100% of our equity investment of $2.8 million. See Note 20.

(3)During fiscal 2019 and 2018, we loaned $23.8 million and $9.0 million as notes receivable from FreshRealm. For fiscal 2020 and 2019, we have recorded $1.7 million and $2.4 million as interest related to the notes receivable balance from FreshRealm. During fiscal 2020, we have recorded a reserve for collectability of 100% of our note receivable balance of $34.2 million (which includes accrued interest of $4.1 million)

(4)In April 2019, we sold our Temecula, California packinghouse for $7.1 million in cash and, concurrently, leased back a portion of the facility representing approximately one-third of the total square footage.  This generated a gain of $6.4 million. Since our leaseback of the building is classified as a capital lease and covers substantially all of the leased property, the gain recognized currently is the amount of the gain in excess of the recorded amount of the leased asset. As a result, we recognized a gain of approximately $1.9 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2019 and recorded a deferred gain of $4.5 million, which will be recognized over the life of the lease. In connection with the capital lease we capitalized $3.2 million as a capital lease in property, plant and equipment and recorded a lease liability of $3.2 million ($0.1 million in current portion and $3.1 million in long term debt).

(5)During our third quarter of fiscal year 2019, we entered into a 10-year building and equipment lease for fresh food facility in Conley, GA.  This facility is primarily intended to process fresh-cut fruit & vegetables and prepared foods products for our RFG business segment.  Annual rent for the building and equipment approximates $0.9 million and $0.6 million, respectively, over the life of the lease. The lease for the equipment is considered to be a capital lease, therefore, we calculated the present value of the minimum lease payments related to the equipment and capitalized $2.8 million as a capital lease in property, plant and equipment and recorded $2.8 million as a lease obligation.

(6)In January 2016, the FASB issued an ASU, which requires equity investments (except those accounted for under the equity method of accounting) to be measured at fair value with changes in fair value recognized in net income. The Company adopted this new standard at the beginning of fiscal 2019. For the year ended October 31, 2019, we sold 51,271 shares of Limoneira stock and recorded a loss of $0.1 million in our consolidated statements of income. Limoneira’s stock price at October 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018 equaled $13.83 per share, $18.92 per share, and $24.65 per share. Our remaining shares of Limoneira stock, totaling 1,677,299, were revalued to $13.83 per share and $18.92 per share at October 31, 2020 and 2019, as a result, we recorded a loss of $8.5 million and $9.6 million for the year ended October 31, 2020 and 2019 in our consolidated statements of operations.

(7)The major impacts of applying ASC 842 to the balance sheet at the effective date were 1) the addition of $65.7 million in operating lease assets and $69.6 million of operating lease liabilities, 2) the removal of approximately $3.7 million and $1.2 million of deferred rent and other long-term obligations, respectively, and 3) a cumulative-effect adjustment for the adoption of ASC 842 of $0.9 million was recorded to retained earnings, which relates to the gain previously recognized in accordance with ASC 840 on its sale and operating leaseback of the Temecula facility.

(8)During the third quarter of fiscal 2020, we have recorded an impairment of 100% of our FreshRealm equity investment of $2.8 million, and we have recorded a reserve for collectability of 100% of our FreshRealm note receivable balance 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, which is included in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations under “Loss on reserve for FreshRealm note receivable and impairment of investment”. In connection with the foregoing, we recorded a $9.5 million discreet income tax benefit for the third quarter of fiscal 2020. See Note 20.

24

(9)On January 21, 2020, we announced that RFG had signed a definitive agreement to acquire SFFI. In February 2020, we completed our acquisition of SFFI. We paid $18.4 million in cash for 100% of SFFI (net of cash acquired). Founded in 1999 and based in Vernon, Calif., privately held SFFI is a processor and supplier of a broad line of fresh-cut fruit, principally serving the foodservice and hospitality markets. See Note 18.

25

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 "Selected Consolidated Financial Data" and 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, prepared avocado products, and other perishable food products throughout the United States. Our expertise in marketing and distributing avocados, prepared avocados, 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 guacamole and salsa and (iii) create, process and package a portfolio of healthy fresh foods including fresh-cut fruit, fresh-cut vegetables, and prepared foods. We report our operations in three different business segments: Fresh products, Calavo Foods and RFG. See Note 10 to our consolidated financial statements for further discussion.

Our Fresh products business grades, sizes, packs, cools, and ripens (if desired) avocados for delivery to our customers. During fiscal 2020, 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 Calavo Foods business processes avocados into a wide variety of guacamole products, and distributes the processed product to our customers. All of our prepared avocado products shipped to North America are “cold pasteurized” and include both frozen and fresh guacamole. Due to the high-quality, no preservative nature of our guacamole and the variety of packaging formats that we offer, we believe that we are well positioned to address the diverse taste and needs of today’s foodservice and retail customers. Additionally, we also prepare various fresh salsa products. Our Calavo Foods segment 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. Net sales of frozen products represented approximately 37% and 38% of total processed segment sales for the years ended October 31, 2020 and 2019. Net sales of our refrigerated products represented approximately 63% and 62% of total processed segment sales for the years ended October 31, 2020 and 2019.

Our RFG 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. RFG products include 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. RFG products are marketed under the Garden Highway Fresh Cut, Garden Highway, and Garden Highway Chef Essentials brands, as well as store-brand and private label programs.

26

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 Fresh, Calavo Foods and RFG 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

COVID-19 Pandemic Impact

The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenging and unprecedented conditions for our business, and we are committed to taking action in support of a Company-wide response to the crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the global economy, disrupted global supply chains and created significant volatility and disruption of financial markets. We believe we are well positioned for the future as we continue to navigate the crisis and prepare for an eventual return to a more normal operating environment. We have successfully implemented contingency plans overseen by our management teams in the U.S. and in Mexico to monitor the evolving needs of our businesses in those countries, as well as those related to our Peru partner in consignment avocado sales and our Mexican partners in consignment tomato sales.

The COVID-19 pandemic began to have an adverse impact on our results of operations in the month of March, resulting in cancelled orders, altered customer buying patterns, delays in potential new business opportunities, losses on product unable to be sold, reductions in margins related to lower manufacturing throughput, and changes to integration plans for an acquired entity. The effects of the pandemic were more pronounced in the portions of our business servicing foodservice customers and to a lesser extent certain segments of our retail business, including behind-the-glass deli and grab-and-go convenience items. While we have managed the pandemic well, with improving results beginning in April and minimal disruption to our overall business thus far, the continuing impact of the pandemic on our future consolidated results of operations is uncertain.

Organizational changes

On February 1, 2020, James Gibson became Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Lecil Cole, who retired on January 31, 2020. Mr. Gibson has served as President of Calavo’s RFG division since October 26, 2017 and previously served as Chief Operating Officer and a founding member of RFG since 2003.

On February 26, 2020, Lecil Cole retired as Chairman of the Board of Directors, although he remains a director of Calavo. On February 27, 2020, Mr. J. Link Leavens was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors.

On March 10, 2020, Joel Silva was promoted to Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer, succeeding James Snyder, who resigned on March 6, 2020, to join a company in the financial services sector. Previously Mr. Silva was Division Controller for our Fresh and Foods divisions.

On May 11, 2020, Kevin Manion became Chief Financial Officer, succeeding John Lindeman, who resigned on March 11, 2020. Mr. Manion held financial leadership positions with companies including Century Snacks, Young’s Market Company, Bolthouse Farms, Hostess Brands, Nestle USA and Kraft General Foods.

On August 10, 2020, Mark Lodge became Chief Operations Officer. Mr. Lodge has served as Executive Vice President of RFG Business Operations. Prior to joining Calavo, Mr. Lodge held the role of Executive Vice President for Revolution Foods supplying all-natural school meals across the United States.  Prior to Revolution Foods, Mr.

27

Lodge was President of True Fresh HPP and True Food Innovations and was previously instrumental in the identification and implementation of the Fresh & Easy manufacturing business in the United States for Tesco, plc.

On August 10, 2020, Calavo promoted Robert Wedin to the position of Executive Vice President of Fresh Sales. Mr. Wedin has served as our Vice President, Sales and Fresh Marketing since 1993. Mr. Wedin joined Calavo in 1973 at our then Santa Barbara packinghouse. Beginning in 1990, Mr. Wedin served as a director of the California Avocado Commission for a period of ten years. Mr. Wedin currently is a board member of Producesupply.org and serves as a member of that organization's executive committee.

Dividend Payment

On October 26, 2020, the Company declared a $1.15 per share cash dividend to shareholders of record on November 13, 2020. On December 4, 2020, the Company paid this cash dividend, which totaled $20.3 million.

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.

Mexico tax audits

We conduct business both domestically and internationally and, as a result, one or more of our subsidiaries files income tax returns in U.S. federal, U.S. state and certain foreign jurisdictions. Accordingly, in the normal course of business, we are subject to examination by taxing authorities, primarily in Mexico and the United States. During our third quarter of fiscal 2016, our wholly owned subsidiary, Calavo de Mexico (CDM), received a written communication from the Ministry of Finance and Administration of the government of the State of Michoacan, Mexico (MFM) containing preliminary observations related to a fiscal 2011 tax audit of such subsidiary. MFM’s preliminary observations outline certain proposed adjustments primarily related to intercompany funding, deductions for services from certain vendors/suppliers and Value Added Tax (IVA). During the period from our fourth fiscal quarter of 2016 through our first fiscal quarter of 2019, we attempted to resolve our case with the MFM through working meetings attended by representatives of the MFM, CDM and PRODECON (Local Tax Ombudsman). However, we were unable to materially resolve our case with the MFM through the PRODECON process.

As a result, in April 2019, the MFM issued a final tax assessment to CDM (the “2011 Assessment”) totaling approximately $2.2 billion Mexican pesos (approx. $103.5 million USD at October 31, 2020) related to Income Tax, Flat Rate Business Tax and Value Added Tax, corresponding to the fiscal year 2011 tax audit. We have consulted with an internationally recognized tax advisor and continue to believe this tax assessment is without merit. Therefore, we filed an administrative appeal challenging the MFM’s 2011 assessment on June 12, 2019. The filing of an administrative appeal in Mexico is a process in which the taxpayer appeals to a different office within the Mexican tax authorities, forcing the legal office within the MFM to rule on the matter. This process preserves the taxpayer’s right to litigate in tax court if the administrative appeal process ends without a favorable or just resolution. Furthermore, in August 2018, we received a favorable ruling from Mexico’s Federal Tax Administration Service, Servicio de Administracion Tributaria’s (the “SAT”) central legal department in Mexico City on another tax matter (see footnote 15 regarding IVA refunds) indicating that they believe that our legal interpretation is accurate on a matter that is also central to the 2011 Assessment. We believe this recent ruling undermines the Assessment we received in April 2019.

During the month of November 2020 we were in contact with the MFM and presented our arguments that we believe undermine the legality of the 2011 Assessment, asserting among others, the determination by the SAT’s central legal department described below, which recognizes the legal validity of our operation as a maquiladora. Based on the foregoing, the MFM has offered to take into account such argument in its resolution of the pending administrative appeal.

We believe we have the legal arguments and documentation to sustain the positions challenged by the MFM.

28

Additionally, we also received notice from the SAT, that CDM is currently under examination related to fiscal year 2013. In January 2017, we received preliminary observations from SAT outlining certain proposed adjustments primarily related to intercompany funding, deductions for services from certain vendors/suppliers, and VAT. We provided a written rebuttal to these preliminary observations during our second fiscal quarter of 2017. During the period from our third fiscal quarter of 2017 through our third fiscal quarter of 2018, we attempted to resolve our case with the SAT through working meetings attended by representatives of the SAT, CDM and the PRODECON. However, we were unable to materially resolve our case with the SAT through the PRODECON process.

As a result, in July 2018, the SAT’s local office in Uruapan issued to CDM a final tax assessment (the “2013 Assessment”) totaling approximately $2.6 billion Mexican pesos (approx. $122.4 million USD at October 31, 2020) related to Income Tax, Flat Rate Business Tax, and Value Added Tax, related to this fiscal 2013 tax audit. Additionally, the tax authorities have determined that we owe an employee’s profit-sharing liability, totaling approximately $118 million Mexican pesos (approx. $5.6 million USD at October 31, 2020).

We have consulted with both an internationally recognized tax advisor, as well as a global law firm with offices throughout Mexico, and we continue to believe that this tax assessment is without merit. In August 2018, we filed an administrative appeal on the 2013 Assessment. CDM has appealed our case to the SAT’s central legal department in Mexico City. Furthermore, and as noted in the preceding paragraphs, in August 2018, we received a favorable ruling from the SAT’s central legal department in Mexico City on another tax matter (see footnote 15 regarding IVA refunds) indicating that they believe that our legal interpretation is accurate on a matter that is central to the 2013 Assessment. We believe this recent ruling significantly undermines the 2013 Assessment we received in July 2018.

In light of the foregoing, the Company is currently considering its options for resolution of the two tax assessments:

-In the unlikely event of an unfavorable resolution of the administrative appeal, we could file a nullification suit with the Mexican Tax Court. In order to file such suit, we would be required to post collateral or a bond for the total amount of the tax assessment (including inflation adjustments, penalties and surcharges) while the suit is in process, which could last from two to three years. If the suit results in an unfavorable ruling, there is an option to appeal to the Collegiate Circuit Court while maintaining the collateral or bond in place.

-In the event of filing a nullification suit, the collateral or bonding requirement may be avoided by filing a nullification suit on substantive matters (“Juicio de Fondo”). This type of suit permits only arguments on the legal merits of the taxpayer’s case, and limits arguments on procedural matters.

The estimated time for resolution of this matter could be affected by the situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to believe that the ultimate resolution of these matters is unlikely to have a material effect on our consolidated financial position.

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.

29

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 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.

Income taxes. We account for deferred tax liabilities and assets for the future consequences of events that have been recognized in our consolidated financial statements or tax returns. Measurement of the deferred items is based on enacted tax laws. In the event the future consequences of differences between financial reporting bases and tax bases of our assets and liabilities result in a deferred tax asset, we perform an evaluation of the probability of being able to realize the future benefits indicated by such asset. A valuation allowance related to a deferred tax asset is recorded when it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax asset will not be realized.

As a multinational corporation, we are subject to taxation in many jurisdictions, and the calculation of our tax liabilities involves dealing with uncertainties in the application of complex tax laws and regulations in various taxing jurisdictions. If we ultimately determine that the payment of these liabilities will be unnecessary, the liability will be reversed and we will recognize a tax benefit during the period in which it is determined the liability no longer applies. Conversely, we record additional tax charges in a period in which it is determined that a recorded tax liability is less than the ultimate assessment is expected to be.

The application of tax laws and regulations is subject to legal and factual interpretation, judgment and uncertainty. Tax laws and regulations themselves are subject to change as a result of changes in fiscal policy, changes in legislation, the evolution of regulations and court rulings. Therefore, the actual liability for U.S. or foreign taxes may be materially different from management’s estimates, which could result in the need to record additional tax liabilities or potentially reverse previously recorded tax liabilities.

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 can use a qualitative test, known as "Step 0," or a two-step quantitative method to determine whether impairment has occurred. In Step 0, we elect to perform an optional qualitative analysis and based on the results skip the two step analysis. In fiscal 2020, 2019 and 2018, we elected to implement Step 0 and were not required to conduct the remaining two step analysis. 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. 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. The results of our Step 0 assessments indicated that it was more likely than not that the fair value of its reporting unit exceeded its carrying value and therefore we concluded that there were no impairments for the years ended October 31, 2020, 2019 or 2018.

Investments. We account for non-marketable investments using the equity method of accounting if the investment gives us the ability to exercise significant influence over, but not control, an investee. Significant influence generally exists when we have an ownership interest representing between 20% and 50% of the voting stock of the investee.

30

Under the equity method of accounting, investments are stated at initial cost and are adjusted for subsequent additional investments and our proportionate share of earnings or losses and distributions. In order to estimate the fair value of our investment in FreshRealm, we hired an independent third-party expert to provide their written opinion on the fair value of our investment.  We reviewed and considered their independent expert opinion in making our determination.

Notes receivable from FreshRealm. As of October 31, 2019, we have note receivables from FreshRealm totaling $35.2 million. During the third quarter of fiscal 2020, the results of operations of FreshRealm have deteriorated significantly from our expectations three months earlier, with declining sales and continuing losses. FreshRealm will likely require additional capital in order to continue as a going concern. We do not plan to invest or loan any additional capital to FreshRealm. We have performed a valuation analysis of the financial condition and projected operations of FreshRealm under various methods, including liquidation, exit multiple, and perpetual growth approaches, appropriately weighted for the circumstances. In accordance with the foregoing, we have recorded a reserve for collectability of 100% of our note receivable balance 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, which is included in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations under “Loss on reserve for FreshRealm note receivable and impairment of investment”.

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, 

 

2020

2019

2018

 

Net sales

    

100.0

%  

100.0

%  

100.0

%  

Gross profit

 

8.5

%  

10.7

%  

10.4

%  

Selling, general and administrative

 

5.5

%  

4.9

%  

5.2

%  

Operating income

 

3.0

%  

5.9

%  

5.2

%  

Interest income

 

0.2

%  

0.2

%  

0.0

%  

Interest expense

 

(0.1)

%  

(0.1)

%  

(0.1)

%  

Other income, net

 

0.1

%  

0.0

%  

0.1

%  

Unrealized and realized net loss on Limoneira shares

(0.8)

%  

(0.8)

%  

0.0

%  

Net income

 

(1.3)

%  

3.1

%  

3.0

%  

31

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The below tables include non-GAAP measures EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted diluted 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 recognized from unconsolidated entities, (2) goodwill impairment, (3) write-off of long-lived assets, (4) acquisition-related costs, (5) restructuring and 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 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 and 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.

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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,

    

2020

    

2019

    

2018

Net income (loss) attributable to Calavo Growers, Inc.

$

(13,625)

$

36,646

$

32,281

Non-GAAP adjustments:

 

  

 

  

 

  

Non-cash losses recognized from unconsolidated entities (a)

 

6,110

 

14,082

 

11,850

Gain on sale-Temecula packinghouse, net of sales commission (b)

 

 

(1,572)

 

One-time, non-cash tax charges from Tax Cut & Jobs Act (c)

 

 

 

1,702

Loss on reserve for FreshRealm note receivable and impairment of investment (d)

 

37,322

 

 

Management transition expenses (e)

 

1,119

 

 

891

Acquisition costs – SFFI, Inc (f)

 

510

 

 

Net loss on Limoneira shares (g)

 

8,537

 

9,722

 

RFG rent expense add back (h)

 

108

 

 

Professional expenses related to FreshRealm(i)

 

255

 

 

Tax impact of adjustments (j)

 

(12,773)

 

(5,803)

 

(3,138)

Adjusted net income attributed to Calavo Growers, Inc.

$

27,563

$

53,075

$

43,586

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

 

  

 

  

 

  

Diluted EPS (GAAP)

$

(0.78)

$

2.08

$

1.84

Adjusted Diluted EPS

$

1.57

$

3.02

$

2.48

Number of shares used in per share computation:

 

  

 

  

 

  

Diluted

 

17,564

 

17,593

 

17,568

(a)For the year ended October 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, FreshRealm incurred losses totaling $24.1 million, $30.6 million and $29.4 million, of which we recorded $7.2 million, $14.1 million and $12.0 million of non-cash losses during fiscal 2020, 2019 and 2018.  For the year ended October 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, we incurred income from Agricola Don Memo totaling $1.1 million, $0.1 million, and $0.1 million.
(b)During the second quarter of fiscal 2019, we sold our Temecula, Calif., packinghouse for $7.1 million in cash ($6.7 million, net of transaction costs totaling $0.4 million) and, concurrently, leased back a portion of the facility representing approximately one-third of the total square footage.  As a result, we recognized a gain of approximately $1.9 million ($1.6 million net of sales commissions) in our second quarter of fiscal 2019.
(c)First quarter of fiscal 2018 results include the company’s estimate for the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Calavo recorded a one-time, non-cash charge due to the revaluation of our net deferred tax assets and the transition tax on the deemed repatriation of foreign earnings.
(d)During the third quarter of fiscal 2020, the results of operations of FreshRealm have deteriorated significantly from our expectations three months earlier, with declining sales and continuing losses. FreshRealm will likely require additional capital in order to continue as a going concern. We do not plan to invest or loan any additional capital to FreshRealm. Therefore, we have recorded an impairment of 100% of our equity investment of $2.8 million, and we have 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.
(e)For fiscal 2020 and 2018, results include higher stock-based compensation expense related to senior management transitions, which does not impact the underlying cost structure of the company.
(f)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.
(g)In the first quarter of fiscal 2019, we adopted a new accounting standard update which requires us to record changes in fair value of equity investments, including our investment in Limoneira (LMNR) common stock, in net income during the period.   For the

33

year ended October 31, 2020 and 2019, we recorded $8.5 million and $9.6 million in unrealized losses related to these mark-to-market adjustments.  Additionally, we sold 51,271 shares of Limoneira stock during fiscal 2019 and recorded a loss of $0.1 million.
(h)For the three months and year ended October 31, 2020, we incurred $0.1 million related to rent paid for RFG corporate office space that we have vacated and plan to sublease.
(i)For the year ended October 31, 2020, we incurred $0.3 million of professional fees related to FreshRealm and to the Loss on reserve for FreshRealm note receivable and impairment of investment.
(j)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 (c).

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,

    

2020

    

2019

    

2018

Net income (loss) attributable to Calavo Growers, Inc.

$

(13,625)

$

36,646

$

32,281

Interest Income

(1,998)

(2,675)

(318)

Interest Expense

 

877

 

948

 

831

Provision (benefit) for Income Taxes

 

(4,292)

 

12,881

 

12,719

Depreciation & Amortization

 

16,093

 

13,633

 

13,042

Stock-Based Compensation (e)

 

4,487

 

3,593

 

4,633

EBITDA

$

1,542

$

65,026

$

63,188

Adjustments:

 

  

 

  

 

  

Non-cash losses recognized from unconsolidated entities (a)

 

6,110

 

14,082

 

11,850

Net loss on Limoneira shares (g)

 

8,537

 

9,722

 

Loss on reserve for FreshRealm note receivable and impairment of investment (d)

 

37,322

 

 

Gain on sale-Temecula packinghouse, net of sales commission (b)

 

 

(1,572)

 

Professional expenses related to FreshRealm (i)

 

255

 

 

RFG rent expense add back (h)

 

108

 

 

Acquisition costs - SFFI, Inc. (f)

 

510

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA

$

54,384

$

87,258

$

75,038

Adjusted EBITDA per share

$

3.10

$

4.96

$

4.27

See prior page for footnote references

34

Net Sales

We believe that the fundamental consumption trends for our products continue to be favorable. Firstly, U.S. avocado demand continues to grow, with per capita consumption in 2019/20 reaching 7.8 pounds per person, and approximately double 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 18% 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 Fresh products and Calavo Foods segments of our 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.

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 2020, 2019 and 2018, on behalf of avocado growers, we remitted approximately $1.3 million, $1.1 million and $1.5 million to the California Avocado Commission. During fiscal 2020, 2019 and 2018, we remitted approximately $8.4 million, $7.2 million and $6.9 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 2020, 2019 and 2018, we remitted approximately $5.2 million, $5.4 million and $4.7 million to APEAM primarily related to these marketing activities for Mexican avocados.

We also believe that our other fresh 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 the consumption in the U.S. has more than doubled in the past decade. Papayas have high nutritional benefits. They are rich in anti-oxidants, the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid, potassium and magnesium, and fiber.

Additionally, through the acquisition of RFG, we substantially 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. RFG products include 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

35

kits 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 like RFG continue to develop new formulations of value-added products. RFG has also expanded the capacity to provide products for a larger portion of the Fresh Deli department, which remains one of the fastest growing aisles in retail grocery.

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

Year ended October 31, 2020

Year ended October 31, 2019

 

Fresh

Calavo

Fresh

Calavo

 

products

Foods

RFG

Total

products

Foods

RFG 

Total

 

Third-party sales:

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

Avocados

$

521,542

$

$

$

521,542

$

569,779

$

$

$

569,779

Tomatoes

 

53,922

 

 

 

53,922

 

40,879

 

 

 

40,879

Papayas

 

10,529

 

 

 

10,529

 

10,931

 

 

 

10,931

Other fresh income

 

327

 

 

 

327

 

1,353

 

 

 

1,353

Prepared avocado products

 

 

79,382

 

 

79,382

 

 

100,842

 

 

100,842

Salsa

 

 

2,783

 

 

2,783

 

 

3,252

 

 

3,252

Fresh-cut fruit & vegetables and prepared foods

406,572

406,572

488,373

488,373

Total gross sales

 

586,320

 

82,165

 

406,572

 

1,075,057

 

622,942

 

104,094

 

488,373

 

1,215,409

Less sales incentives

 

(1,268)

 

(6,945)

 

(1,849)

 

(10,062)

 

(1,759)

 

(9,360)

 

(2,310)

 

(13,429)

Less inter-company eliminations

(1,651)

(3,973)

(5,624)

(2,246)

(3,957)

(6,203)

Net sales

$

583,401

$

71,247

$

404,723

$

1,059,371

$

618,937

$

90,777

$

486,063

$

1,195,777

Year ended October 31, 2019

Year ended October 31, 2018

 

Fresh

Calavo

Fresh

Calavo

 

products

Foods

RFG

Total

products

Foods

RFG 

Total

 

Third-party sales:

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

Avocados

$

569,779

$

$

$

569,779

$

511,730

$

$

$

511,730

Tomatoes

 

40,879

 

 

 

40,879

 

31,608

 

 

 

31,608