Avocados | In the News
We’re big fans of avocados here at CHEFS and a recent article in the New York Times, “How the Avocado Became the Fruit of Global Trade,” got us talking. From the violent Michoacán cartels to the absurd amount of avocados we eat a year (we help you do the math below!) there's a lot more to the “green gold” phenomenon than you probably realize.
Nine out of every ten imported avocados in the United States come from Michoacán, Mexico. But it is not so much the size of Mexico’s avocado trade but the speed at which they have grown that's crazy. In just 24 years, the US has gone from eating one pound a year on average per person to seven pounds! It started with the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which lifted the ban on avocados getting imported to the US. Add a growing Latino community and celebrity endorsements and we’ve got a real avocado explosion on our hands. President Trump hasn’t killed Nafta yet, but with negotiations headed into the eighth round, a trade war looms…
However, with global demand continuing to grow, we don’t think the avocado is going anywhere anytime soon. For starters, the cartel violence in Michoacán hasn’t stopped the avocado industry’s goal of increasing exports to the US by 15 percent this year. And new tariffs won’t necessarily stop Mexican avocado imports either. After all, we can’t fuel our own appetite for avocados elsewhere because no other producer is big enough. Prices are most likely to spike again, though. But as we avocado fanatics proved during last year's price spike, we know guac is extra, and we want it anyway.
Some quick facts from the article:
- Avocados have surpassed bananas as America’s most valuable fruit export;
- Mexico produces more than a third of the global total;
- Violent Michoacán cartels are fighting like never before to dominate the market;
- Under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), avocados have led an influx of year-round Mexican produce that has:
- Filled the seasonal voids in US grocery stores
- Helped fend off Mexican farmers urge to join the drug trade or immigrate to the United States.
- The avocado supply chain has created nearly 19,000 jobs in the US;
- Mexico was China’s largest supplier of avocados until last year when it was surpassed by Chile. In the future, however, the competition may come from China itself
Read the full article, here.
So, how many pounds of avocados do you eat a year? Do the math:
- How many avocados do you eat in a week?
- Multiply that number by 6 (average oz of an avocado)
- Multiply that number by 52 (weeks in a year)
- Divide that number by 16 (16 oz in a pound)
We’d love to hear how many avocados you’re enjoying a year. Comment below with your average. No judgments... we promise!