Avocado imports from Mexico, which tend to Increase this time of year, have plunged, sending US prices for the fruit soaring. The reason is a strike by Mexican growers who are demanding higher pay and holding back avocados. According to the San Francisco Chronicle the fall in supply of avocados have driven up wholesale prices to four times what they normally are. Mexican suppliers have substantial clout in pricing as they are the main Importer of avocados to the United States.
In October of last year, Mexico sent 45 million lbs. of avocados to the US each week. This October, it was only around 13 million sending lbs. But various farming associations are claiming that only a part of the growers are participating in the strike. Phil Henry, president of Henry Avocado Co., a grower and Importer in Escondido, California, told the Chronicle, “Most of the farmers in Mexico want to harvest; it’s a small minority of growers that are on strike, due to which there has-been an extreme slowdown of harvest.” Some suspect drug cartels that may be playing a role in the import stoppage.
The hardest hit are restaurants and small retailers, Said Sarah Garcia, co-owner of Pacific Produce, South San Francisco distributor. Some restaurants have already started editing their menu by avoiding avocado. Major supermarket chains are not expected to experience much of an impact. Many of them have contracts in place with growers to ensure supply.