A M King completes North America’s largest avocado ripening and processing facility

October 26, 2021

Carolinas-based A M King, an integrated Design-Build firm with an established Upstate presence, recently celebrated the grand opening of Mission Produce’s largest forward distribution center in Laredo, Texas. Mission Produce Inc., based in Oxnard, California, is the global leader in the worldwide avocado business.

A M King provided property consulting for Mission Produce and designed and built the 262,000-square foot facility, which includes cold storage, ripening, processing, and packaging space. The building is located in Laredo’s Pinnacle Industry Center on 32.6 acres adjacent to the Rio Grande River and the Mexican Border. The new facility, which holds the distinction of being the largest avocado plant in North America, will allow the company to capitalize on the continued popularity of its signature product in the nation’s busiest land port.

The day’s festivities included an official ribbon cutting, visits from various state and local dignitaries, tours of the finished facility, and a live recording of The Produce Industry Podcast with Patrick Kelly, which highlighted roundtable discussions and a private tour with Mission Produce and A M King key team members.

A M King’s Carl Morse said, “I very much enjoyed collaborating with the Mission Produce team to identify complex challenges and offer innovative solutions that ultimately resulted in a unique, first-class, state-of-the-art avocado ripening and processing plant.”

“A M King is the go-to builder in the produce industry – we rely on them to design and construct the advanced avocado-specific infrastructure that is pivotal to the success of our network,” said Steve Barnard, chief executive officer and founder of Mission Produce. “They successfully constructed the largest state-of-the-art facility we’ve done in North America, all while staying professional, on-time and on-budget. Their design of our cold storage facilities supports the efficiency and consistency of our high-quality fresh Hass avocados and mangos.”

A M King’s full site consultancy services included analysis of the property currently needed by the business today, as well as for future planned expansions. In addition, A M King managed the complicated process of acquiring the site while meeting all zoning and municipal ordinances specific to site development of greenfield land in the City of Laredo.

Like any food facility that A M King designs and builds, sanitary design measures are paramount. In this facility, there are a number of elements with this focus, including floor drains for room washing and washable surfaces (concrete floor, Insulated Metal Panel walls); structural steel tubes in lieu of W beams (avoiding surfaces for dust collecting); and installation of sinks in the packaging areas. In addition, several sustainability processes were implemented, such as rainwater management, heat island reduction, daylighting and focus on energy performance.

A M King’s scope of work included design and construction of 10 ripening rooms with capacity for 36 rooms; 2,600 pallets for fruit ripening; a dedicated mango room for the company’s newest product line introduced this year; 40 docks; coolers; forced air cooler; dry goods storage; a bagging and production area; quality control; administrative offices, security and dispatch; and Border Patrol and USDA offices.

The 12,000-square-foot second-floor mezzanine, which houses conference rooms, office areas and collaborative space with high end finishes, brings the total square footage of the facility to 274,000 square feet.


About A M King

A M King is an integrated Design-Build firm based in Charlotte, NC with offices in Greenville, SC and Chicago, IL. The firm consistently and successfully delivers quality projects throughout the United States. With an experienced team committed to protecting clients’ assets, the company provides property consulting, design, construction and facility services in the sectors of food processing, food distribution, industrial manufacturing and corporate properties. A M King’s exemplary track record demonstrates that the company is focused on its mission to be the best in the industry. Learn more at https://amkinggroup.com/


About Mission Produce, Inc.

Mission Produce is the global leader in the worldwide avocado business. Since 1983, Mission Produce has been sourcing, producing and distributing fresh Hass avocados, and as of 2021, fresh mangos, to retail, wholesale and foodservice customers in over 25 countries. The vertically integrated Company owns and operates four state-of-the-art packing facilities in key growing locations globally including California, Mexico and Peru and has additional sourcing capabilities in Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, New Zealand, and South Africa, which allow the company to provide a year-round supply of fruit. Mission’s global distribution network includes 12 forward distribution centers in North America, China and Europe that offer value-added services such as ripening, bagging, custom packing and logistical management. In addition, Mission owns over 11,000 acres globally, allowing for diversified sourcing and access to complementary growing seasons, while ensuring its customers receive the highest quality fruit possible. For more information, please visit www.missionproduce.com.