Freska International Immersion
Dr. Jesus Vaca
Superintendent - Somis Unified School District
It was a pleasure joining Jesus “Chuy” Loza, CEO of FRESKA Produce International located in Oxnard, CA for my recent VCLA immersion activity.
My biggest “aha moment” was realizing the amount of revenue made by a small, local company. Established in 2004, they made over 100 million dollars last year, mostly due to how efficiently the company operates. As the largest distributor of fresh mangos in the world, they employ approximately 85 factory workers and 22 office employees during the peak summer season.
As a company FRESKA faces staffing challenges as a result of the high cost of housing in Ventura County. They have used signing bonuses, higher wages, and promotion from within, however, the cost of housing has not been mitigated successfully.
I had a wonderful day shadowing Chuy and a few of the employees there at Freska, learning about tariffs, border crossing permits, and the movement of mangos around the world. One of the newest employees shared how she enjoys interacting with all personnel and feels that in a big corporation this is hard to do. When asked why she came back to Ventura County after returning from a prestigious university, she pointed to giving back to the community. Another employee who has been with the company five years shared he enjoys mentoring local students from Ventura County and people looking to get into the produce industry. He hopes to pursue an MBA and successfully continue to grow in the industry.
I was pleasantly surprised that FRESKA gives back to the Ventura County community through grants to students, to athletic programs, and schools. I am glad I chose learning about FRESKA as my VCLA immersion activity. Thank you to everyone at FRESKA for sharing their time and experiences with me.