Iowans Don’t Need To Worry About Avocado Shortages
The ban on Mexican avocados was lifted on Friday, resuming all exports of the fruit to the United States.
Following the threat to the US plant safety inspector on February 11th, the US banned the import of Mexican avocados “until further notice”. Since then, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has been to enact additional safety measures for inspectors working in the field.
Avocados are the latest to fall victim to the drug cartel turf battles and extorsion of avocado growers in the Western state of Michoacan. Michoacan is the only state in Mexico that is fully authorized to export to the US.
The inspector was responsible for ensuring shipments don’t carry harmful pests that could harm plants in the U.S. In a report by CBS News, the inspector received threats against him and his family when the inspector questioned the integrity and refused to certify the shipment.
The ban on Mexican avocado did not affect those that have already been shipped to the US, therefore not affecting avocado supply for the Superbowl.
Following the ban of Mexican avocados, people became worried that they would see higher avocado prices during the peak of the growing season. The peak growing season in Mexico is January through March, while in the U.S. it is April through September.
According to a report from the USDA, in 2021, the U.S. imported $3 billion in avocados globally with $2.8 billion being from Mexico. In both 2020 and 2021, 80 percent of avocados grown in Michoacan went to U.S. markets.