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Mission Produce Names Pawlowski Next President, COO

John Pawlowski

Mission Produce has appointed John Pawlowski to president and chief operating officer, effective April 1, with Steve Barnard continuing to serve as CEO and on the board of directors.

Pawlowski has more than 25 years in the global food and foodservice industry, specializing in business development, system optimization and executive team management. He has led international market growth strategies at large global organizations such as J.M. Smucker, where he progressed over more than 16 years in a variety of leadership positions, culminating with a post as VP of international.

Pawlowski most recently served as the president and COO of Lipari Foods, an independent distributor, where he was responsible for leading M&A and organic growth, expanding the company’s national distribution and designing operational strategy.

“With Mission’s unparalleled positioning, advanced global infrastructure and world-class team, there are endless opportunities to leverage the company’s assets for accelerated growth,” Pawlowski said. “I look forward to applying my expertise in market access and operational design to help optimize Mission’s operations and deliver value for its customers, shareholders and other stakeholders.”

Barnard described Pawlowski as “an exceptional leader who brings a passion for innovation that strongly aligns with the long-term goals of Mission Produce.”

“With his comprehensive background in the international food industry and impressive track record of driving businesses to new heights, I believe his skillset will greatly contribute to our continued growth as we work to enhance our operating strategies to maximize shareholder value,” Barnard said.

About Mission Produce

Since 1983, Mission Produce has been sourcing, producing and distributing fresh Hass avocados and additional services to retail, wholesale and foodservice customers in more than 25 countries. 

The company owns and operates four packing facilities in key growing locations, including California, Mexico and Peru and has additional sourcing capabilities in Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Brazil, Ecuador and South Africa, which allow it to provide a year-round supply of fruit. 

Mission’s network includes distribution centers throughout North America, China, Europe and the U.K., offering value-added services such as ripening, bagging, custom packing and logistical management.

Read more produce news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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