$12 Million Facility Built to Prevent Avocado Theft
MEXICO - While I’m busy crying over skyrocketing avocado prices, agricultural officials in Mexico have a bigger problem on their hands—the more than 12 tons of avocados stolen each day. That’s right, 12 tons of the precious fruit get nabbed every day as the avocados make their way from orchards to packing zones. Not content to watch thousands of pounds of this hot commodity “fall off the back of a truck” every day, the Association of Export Producers and Packers of Avocado from Mexico (APEAM), the Mexican Department of Agriculture and Agrarian Development (SADER), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have teamed up to build a new $12 million facility, to help protect avocado shipments, according to benzinga.
"It's impossible to continue taking these losses. Failing to stop the theft of these lorries will have an irreparable impact on the avocado industry," APEAM commented.
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, benzinga reports.
"Uruapan has been very attractive to criminals for understandable reasons—but we will not rest until we have absolute control of the safety of the region producing avocados," said Silvano Aureoles, Governor of Michoacan, during the ground-breaking ceremony for Casa APEAM.
Avocado prices have been soaring recently (much to my chagrin), with a recent report revealing that the national price of Hass avocados has risen by 93 cents since last year.
Casa APEAM will take up 13,000 square feet over a 10-acre site, and is set to open in two years. The facility will include an experimental laboratory and field where the organization can research how to eradicate pests, diseases, and address safety problems. As part of the new initiative, APEAM will also be looking to plot new trucking routes and shipping ports, as well as install more security cameras and increase the surveillance of truck shipments.
Will the new plan successfully safeguard everyone’s favorite guac ingredient? Or will organized crime win out and send avocado prices even higher? AndNowUKnow will report.