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Stopping avocado imports from Mexico affects restaurants and shoppers in the US

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Nearly a week ago, the United States suspended avocado trade with Mexico after an inspector was threatened, and now diners and shoppers are feeling the pinch.

SEE RELATED STORY: Mexican avocado imports suspended on the eve of Super Bowl 2022, fell victim to Mexican gang wars

CODE STOP TRADE WITH MEXICO ON AVOCADOS ONLY DAY BEFORE SUPER DOLL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said trade with Mexico in its avocados was suspended on Feb. 11. It stemmed from an incident involving one of its inspectors.

The USDA says the inspector will not clear an avocado crop. Soon after, he and his family received a threatening phone call.

In 2020, the USDA said an inspector was murdered in northern Mexico, prompting the US to cut ties until changes are made.

Luis Chaparro, a freelance journalist, said he was shocked that the US took this step because the cartel has been involved in avocado for a few years, especially around the Super Bowl.

“The avocado became what they call ‘green gold’.” That’s what local farmers call it because it becomes very, very expensive and valuable,” Chaparro explained.

Chaparro said the cartel blackmails avocado farmers. It’s held around the Super Bowl because that’s when more avocados are sent to America

“Right now they need the money,” Chaparro said. “They need money to keep that war going by arming and financing themselves.”

The USDA told ABC13 that there is no timeframe for when the suspension will be lifted, but it is working to improve.

AVOCADO SUSPENSION BEEN FELT BY HOUSTON MEXICAN RESTAURANTS

Businesses like Tony’s Mexican Restaurant in northwest Houston rely heavily on avocados.

“Butter is very, very important,” said the restaurant’s kitchen manager, Marcus Cotera. “They hit almost all of our dishes.”

It is a vegetable that has become a delicacy.

“Our suppliers have started to announce that prices will vary, but if it continues for a couple of weeks it will be really damaging and will be hard to find,” Cotera said. .

The restaurant said the price of avocados has increased by 20%.

“It’s really alarming,” said the restaurant’s assistant manager, Tony Vega. “Shock. What are we going to do?”

But, it’s not just the restaurant.

“Distributors told me they were going to hit Walmart, Kroger, and all the other grocery stores around town,” Cotera said.

AVOCADOS FROM MEXICO INSTANTLY THE WEIGHT OF THE COCONUT CONSUMED USES

The USDA says America’s dependence on Mexico for avocados has increased significantly. Before 2007, Chile was the top avocado distributor to the US, but now it’s Mexico, and the country hasn’t even closed.

In 2021, the United States imported $ 3 billion in avocados globally, of which $ 2.8 billion came from Mexico.

Many Americans are eating this. According to the USDA, consumption in the US has tripled to 8 pounds per person.

“I’m really disappointed that we use it so much here, and it’s really important that we buy them from Mexico because they taste really good from that area,” says Cotera.

For updates on this story, follow Nick Natario on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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https://abc13.com/avocado-trade-suspended-us-department-of-agriculture-imports-from-mexico-guacamole/11575334/ Stopping avocado imports from Mexico affects restaurants and shoppers in the US

Dais Johnston

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