James Donovan

James Donovan

After more than 35 years with avocado giant Mission Produce, James Donovan has announced his retirement.

Affectionately known as ‘Jim’, Donovan currently serves as the company’s senior vice president of global info and industry affairs.

He joined Mission as an export sales manager in 1984 after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Business.

During his expansive stretch at Mission, Donovan garnered a strong reputation in sales, operations, and industry relations, but spent the better part of his career in a senior level global sourcing position.

“Jim was instrumental in establishing our sourcing and sales strategies abroad, which has contributed to Mission’s global success today,” said Steve Barnard, president and chief executive of Mission Produce.

“He conceptualised the potential of the avocado from a niche fruit to a global, mainstream food. On behalf of everyone at Mission, I would like to thank Jim for his outstanding contributions to our company.”

Donovan has played a key role in developing major growing and distribution sources for Mission in Mexico, Chile, Peru, Colombia and New Zealand.

He also laid the groundwork for forming relationships with leading retailers and buyers in Asia and Europe.

Throughout his time at Mission, Donovan served many avocado industry associations including the Hass Avocado Board, Mexican Importers and Handlers Association, Peruvian Avocado Committee, Chilean Avocado Importers Association and the World Avocado Organization.

“It’s been an honor to be a part of Mission’s journey since its infancy, from a small California-based avocado packer to a global, successful publicly-traded Company,” said Donovan.

“I’ve met and worked with some of the most remarkable and passionate people in the global avocado and produce industry. I am extremely humbled by the success we’ve experienced in my tenure at Mission and look forward to its continued growth.”