Impacts of Mexican avocado suspension
The U.S. will stop importing avocados from Mexico until further notice after a U.S. inspector in Mexico reportedly received a threat. One Valley exporter says he knows the situation all too well.
Nearly a year and a half ago, Miguel Alvarado says he was kidnapped and held for ransom in the Mexican state of Michoacán.
Now, Alvarado works mostly out of McAllen and commutes from Monterrey.
“I had to go into hiding for a time, I even changed my phone numbers,” Alvarado said in Spanish.
After a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector received a threatening phone call, the U.S. suspended all imports of Mexican avocados, according to the Associated Press.
Now, Michoacán cannot send its avocados to its biggest importer, the United States.
“Now, we're running the risk our product will go bad,” Alvarado said.
As of Tuesday, it is. Images from Michoacán shows the avocados are ripening quickly.
Official avocado associations indicate the great majority of these fruits grown in Michoacán are sent to the U.S. and the avocados in a climate-controlled warehouse in McAllen are being rationed.
Alvarado says prices are expected to climb.
“Thousands of families depend on my company,” Alvarado said. “We are not going to abandon them, but we don't know what authorities will do about organized crime.”
Alvarado adds that supermarkets might start stocking avocados from California, the Dominican Republic or Peru.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated the U.S. will stop exporting avocados from Mexico. The U.S. will stop importing avocados from Mexico.