Finding Avocados In Illinois Might Get Tough Soon–Here’s Why
U.S. authorities suspended avocado imports from Mexico just hours before the Super Bowl, and then said yesterday that shipments of Mexican avocados would be stopped for "as long as necessary."
For Illinois' avocado lovers, this situation could turn into a long-lasting import shutdown, rising prices, and the chance that there could be a full-blown avocado shortage.
This Move Coincides With Avocado Prices Being At Record-High Prices And 100% More Expensive Than Just One Year Ago
Normally, when you hear about an import ban on something, particularly a type of food, it's because of some sort of contamination like E.coli, listeria, salmonella, etc.
Not this time, however.
Avocado imports from Michoacán, Mexico, have been suspended not because of product contamination, but due to a threatening phone call to an American plant safety inspector.
USDA said the suspension was ordered "following a security incident (verbal threat) involving our employees. The suspension will remain in place for as long as necessary to ensure the appropriate actions are taken, to secure the safety of APHIS personnel working in Mexico." The details of the incident were not immediately clear. Michoacán, Mexico's top avocado producing state and the only one certified to export to the United States, has long had security issues linked to problems with drug gangs.
These folks are members of the self-defense group Pueblos Unidos, and they carry out guard duties in protection of avocado plantations:
Ironically, This Move Comes Right After The Mexican Avocado Growers And Packers Association Unveiled Its Super Bowl Ad For This Year
Illinois avocado lovers shouldn't lose all hope, as California produces avocados, too. But, they don't come close to producing as much as Mexico does, and California has been dealing with drought conditions which have caused smaller crop sizes and smaller avocados.