U.S. Suspends Imports of Avocados from Mexico because of a Verbal Threat

A picture of the avocado shipment process from ABC7

A picture of the avocado shipment process from ABC7

By David Valdes, Staff Writer

On February 11th, the United States Department of Agriculture suspended shipments of avocados from Mexico to the US because of a threat directed towards a worker of the APHIS.

This ban on avocado imports has scared restaurant and grocery store owners nationwide. The manager of Agtools in Mexico, Raul Lopez said, “In a few days, the current inventory will be sold out and there will be a lack of product in almost any supermarket. The consumer will have very few products available, and prices will rise drastically.” This will lead to the inevitable shortage of avocados due to the fact that 80% of avocados in the U.S. come from Mexico. 2.26 billion pounds of avocados were sold to the U.S. from Michoacán in 2021.

The shipments have been suspended specifically from the state of Michoacán, which is the only Mexican state allowed to ship fruit to the U.S. Michoacán has been the supplier of avocados since 1997.

According to Raul Lopez, the inspector found a shipment from Puebla that was set to be shipped to the U.S. (which is not allowed) along with the Michoacán shipments. The workers in the facility tried to threaten the inspector so he reported it to the USDA. The USDA currently has no statement on this situation.

The prices of avocados in stores and from suppliers will also drastically rise with the shortage. The holiday of Cinco de Mayo will also be negatively affected by this. It is possible that there will be shipments from the Mexican state of Jalisco, but these shipments will not start until May or June. An official of the APHIS said, “Yes, Americans need their avocados for Cinco de Mayo, but these inspectors need to be able to do their jobs without being threatened.”

Wayne Hills freshman Prisma Vaughn said, “I am very sad because I love avocados so much. I eat avocado toast every day and without them, I don’t know how I’m gonna live.”

It is not clear at the moment when these shipments will be resumed, so for the time being, the Americans must suffice with  the shortage of avocados