Avocado Crisis Averted
A week without avocado imports is enough to make fans of the healthy fat hit the panic button. Today a wild story dealing with drug cartels, agricultural imports, and the reality of just how much of our U.S. avocado supply comes from our southern neighbor.
As of Saturday, February 12, the Mexican government confirmed that the U.S. government had suspended imports of all Mexican avocadoes.
The reason for the abrupt halt? The U.S. plant safety inspector in Mexico had received a threat. This threat came as major media sources report that avocadoes are, in fact, the latest victim of drug cartel turf battles resulting in extortion for avocado growers in the western state of Michoacan, the only state in Mexico fully authorized to export to the U.S. market.
How big of a deal is this? Outside of the obvious concern of a drug cartel influencing trade between U.S. and Mexico, it actually puts America in a tough spot for avocado supplies. David Magana, Rabobank senior fruits and vegetables analyst, has made recent statements to media reporting that roughly 80% of the avocadoes bought in the U.S. come from Mexico. This time of year, that number is as high as 90%.
But, we can all breathe a collective sigh of ooey gooey, mushed-up green relief. As of Friday, the Associated Press reported a U.S. Embassy announcement that Washington was lifting the ban, freeing the way for exports to resume.