US suspends imports of Mexican avocados on Super Bowl eve
It's Avocado pride day!
The U.S. government suspended all imports of Mexican avocados after a U.S. factory safety inspector was threatened in Mexico. This temporary suspension was confirmed late Saturday on the eve of the Super Bowl, which is obviously the biggest sales opportunity of the Year for Mexican avocado growers. The measure would not affect consumption during the competition, since the avocados had already been shipped.
The export of avocados is the most recent victim of the battle between drug cartels and the extortion of avocado growers in Michoacan, the only state in Mexico where exports to the US market are fully allowed.
The Mexican Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement:
“The US health authorities took the decision after one of their officials, who conducted inspections in Uruapan, Michoacan, received a threatening message on his official mobile phone.”
The ban came the day the Mexican Association of avocado growers and Packers unveiled its Super Bowl advertising for this year; exporters have been making these expensive ads for nearly a decade, hoping to consolidate guacamole as a Super Bowl tradition.
The association did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ban, which affects an industry that exports for almost $ 3 billion annually. However, the avocados for this year’s Super Bowl had already been exported in the weeks leading up to the event.
Armed police escort
It is not the first time that the violence in Michoacan has threatened the avocados, the state’s most lucrative crop. This week, police in the Western State of Michoac was forced to provide an armed escort for 14 trucks transporting Avocados From Santa Ana Zirosto to La Quinta in Uruapan district.
Earlier this month, the ruling party MORENA stated that the price increases of limes and avocados were partly due to the extortion to which the producers are exposed.
The country’s Statistical Office has determined that avocado prices increased by 230% between december and January. Last June, some 3,000 avocado growers armed themselves in Michoac ②n in response to increasing incidents of extortion and criminal harassment.