There were widespread media reports Monday of a possible avocado shortage if President Donald Trump closes the southern border.
A Reuters article highlighted the avocado as one of many fruits imported from Mexico in constant demand, with Mexico providing between 40-50% of the U.S. supply. Almost all U.S. imported avocados come from Mexico, as do raspberries, blackberries, cucumbers and tomatoes.
“You couldn’t pick a worse time of year,” said Steve Barnard, president and chief executive of Mission Produce, in an interview with Reuters. “We would be out of business for a while.”
A shortage would very likely also affect the price of avocados, Reuters reported. “We’re absolutely going to see higher prices,” said Monica Ganley, principal at Quarterra, Latin American trade consultants. “This is a very real and very relevant concern for American consumers.”
According to the Ag Marketing Resource Center, U.S. consumption of avocados has increased significantly over the years, totaling $2.6 billion in 2017.
Fox News published a story warning of an avocado shortage within three weeks of border closure. The Hill stressed the resulting increase in avocado prices. Newsweek also posted “Donald Trump’s Policies Could Cause U.S. To Run Out Of Avocados Within Weeks,” characterizing Trump’s tweet as being part of the president’s “attacks on immigration, Mexico and Central America.”
Trump has yet to take formal steps to close the Southern border. This weekend, he halted direct aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, whose citizens are fleeing north in organized convoys and overwhelming U.S. resources.
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