Your morning avo toasts might be in jeopardy, thanks to a new report that suggests that closing the Mexico-U.S. border could bring the country's supply of imported produce and other goods to a complete halt. According to experts, an avocado shortage is a real possibility if Trump closes the Mexico border (which he threatened to do in a tweet on Friday, March 27), and the ramifications of a proposed border closure could extend to other fresh fruits and vegetables as well. Here's what we know so far about the fate of the beloved millennial fruit. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on the proposed border closure, as well as if there would be any additional consideration for Mexican imports, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
On Monday, April 1, several agriculture experts revealed via Reuters that due to the United States' current reliance on its southern neighbor's fresh fruit and vegetables, it's likely that prices could skyrocket on avocados as certain items become scarce. In fact, the head of Mission Produce (the world’s biggest avocado grower and distributor) offered this chilling statistic: Americans would run out of avocados in just three weeks, if the proposed border closure were to go ahead.
Steve Barnard told the publication:
You couldn’t pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100 percent of the avocados in the U.S. right now. California is just starting and they have a very small crop, but they’re not relevant right now and won’t be for another month or so.
Considering that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a voluntary recall for California-grown avocados from Henry Avocado Corporation in Arizona, California, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Wisconsin for possible listeria contamination, this news isn't particularly uplifting, and it seems to back up Barnard's claims that there could be a very real shortage of avocados.
Monica Ganley of Quarterra, a consultancy specializing in Latin American agricultural issues and trade, also backed up Barnard's claims that we're likely to see some impact on the Mexican products that we often take for granted (i.e. salt, tequila, beer, avocados, and many fresh fruit and vegetables).
"When a border is closed or barriers to trade are put in place, I absolutely expect there would be an impact on consumers," she told The Guardian. "We’re absolutely going to see higher prices. This is a very real and very relevant concern for American consumers."
According to 2015 data from the United States Department of Agriculture, Mexico is currently the world's biggest exporter of produce to the United States. To put things into perspective, the country supplies almost 70 percent of vegetable imports, and nearly 40 percent of fruit imports to its northern neighbor. Meanwhile, when it comes to millennials' favorite green fruit, March 2019 statistics from the Hass Avocado Board have shown that the supplier gets more than 96 percent of its produce from Mexico. That's significant.
As of now, the White House hasn't revealed any further plans to move ahead with completely closing the United States-Mexico border after President Trump's tweet, and the White House did not respond when Elite Daily reached out inquiring for further information on the topic.
In other words: The future of your avocado habit might be uncertain at this point in time, so I'd make the most of the situation and eat all the guacamole and avocado toast while you still can.