Monday, July 15, 2024

US avocado prices may increase due to Mexican cartel violence

The Price of Avocados in the US Threatened by Cartel Violence in Mexico

Cartel Violence in Mexico Could Drive Up Avocado Prices for Americans

A wave of violence in avocado-producing regions of Mexico has caused a temporary halt in inspections, threatening to increase avocado prices for Americans. The suspension came after two USDA inspectors were assaulted in an avocado field in Michoacán, Mexico’s largest avocado-producing state.

The demand for avocados has surged in the US, leading cartels to expand their operations into the lucrative industry. This has raised concerns about the safety of inspectors and the impact on the avocado trade between the two countries.

US Ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, has stated that inspections will gradually resume in Michoacán once the safety of inspectors can be guaranteed. However, the suspension has already caused significant financial losses, with the region estimated to lose $7 to $10 million a day.

Restaurant owners in the US, like Lisa Sotelo of Lisa’s Cocina in San Diego, are worried about a potential avocado shortage affecting their businesses. Avocados are a staple ingredient in many dishes, and a shortage could lead to higher prices and decreased availability.

This is not the first time inspections have been suspended due to security concerns. In February 2022, inspections were halted for a week after a threat was made against a health and safety inspector.

The avocado industry in Mexico generates billions of dollars annually, making it a prime target for criminal organizations looking to diversify their operations. The situation highlights the complex challenges facing both the agriculture and law enforcement sectors in the region.

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