US Halts Avocado Imports From Mexico After Threat

We hope you enjoyed the guacamole at your Super Bowl Sunday this past weekend because avocados may be harder to find in coming days.

The United States has temporarily stopped the import of avocados from Mexico after a U.S. plant safety inspector received a threatening call.

The U.S. inspector was in the Mexican state of Michoacán working when he received a threatening call.

The exportation of avocados seem to be the latest victim of a drug cartel turf battle and the extortion of avocado growers in Michoacán, which is the only state in Mexico authorized to export to the U.S. market.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are investigating the threat and considering other measures to protect workers in Michoacán. The department is concerned after an incident that occurred in 2019 in which a team of US inspectors was reportedly robbed by a gang at gunpoint, that further threats would prompt an immediate interruption of “program activities”.

The disrupting happens during one of its busiest times of the year.

Grocery shoppers may see the avocados that are already in American grocery stores become more expensive because there is an uncertainty as to when the export ban will be lifted.

In 2020, Mexican avocado exports amounted to more than 2.7 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of avocado to the United States. In that year, the U.S. alone accounted for approximately 80 percent of the value of avocado exports from the country. The U.S. is the second-largest avocado producer, after Mexico, with 90% of production happening in California.

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