This New Facility Cost $12 Million And It’s All Designed To Stop Rampant Avocado Theft
So avocado theft is one of the reasons that our beloved aguacate has been getting more and more expensive. According to Mexican authorities, the industry loses more than 12 tons of avocados to theft each day! That’s a lot of missed guacamole potential.
So together with the USDA, one Mexican group is creating a new facility and identifying new shipping routes to help cut these losses which are spiraling out of control.
Avocado growers have teamed up to build a facility that helps prevent theft.
The absolutely depressing rise in avocado prices has left many of us nearly penniless but our problems pale in comparison to those being faced by the agricultural industry in Mexico.
Each and every day nearly 12 tons of avocados are stolen between the orchards and packing plants.
Between 2017 and 2019, Mexico reported 440 avocado theft investigations, and because Mexican-grown avocados made up 78 percent of the U.S. market last year, this spells trouble Stateside as well. Producers lose an average of four truckloads of avocados per day because of organized crime intervention. The majority of Mexican avocados that make their way to the U.S. come from the state of Michoacan, in a city called Uruapan, which accounts for 92 percent of Mexico’s avocado production last year,
I mean, apparently, avocado theft is a legit thing.
And we’re not talking about shoving that $1.99 avocado in your pocket at the supermarket or “forgetting to pay” for a few that may have fallen into your purse.
Back in 2017, three men in California were arrested on suspicion of grand theft of avocados after the disappearance of $300,000 worth of the creamy fruit.
Police believe the men were stealing and selling avocados to unsuspecting customers for at least several months.
The new $12 million facility is meant to finally address the issue of widespread theft.
A new $12 million facility will be built; a venture between the Association of Export Producers and Packers of Avocado from Mexico (APEAM), the Mexican Department of Agriculture and Agrarian Development (SADER), and also house the local offices for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Casa APEAM, as the facility is called, will also be part of Mexican officials new strategy to find safer export routes for avocados out of Mexico.
Silvano Aureoles, the governor of Michoacán, said he is working with avocado producers to plot new trucking routes to avoid the theft of trucks and merchandise. Part of these new actions could be exporting the avocados from the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas instead of the Port of Manzanillo, putting surveillance cameras on the road to Lázaro Cárdenas and increasing surveillance of truck shipments out of Michoacán.
And this news couldn’t come soon enough because prices for avocados continue to skyrocket!
Avocado prices have been soaring recently, with a recent report revealing that the national price of Hass avocados has risen by 93 cents since last year.
On the wholesale side (think restaurants, markets), last year a 25-pound box cost $37 but that price has risen to $89 in 2019. That’s a huge and unfortunate increase for lovers of aguacate.