Love Avocados? Well, They're Running Out | NBC 7 San Diego

Love Avocados? Well, They're Running Out

The import of avocados from Mexico to the U.S. has decreased by more than half this month, according to the San Diego County Farm Bureau

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016)

    If you love avocados, you might want to head to your nearest grocery store and grab some before they run out—and this time, the wait might be longer than a few days.

    NBC 7 confirmed with the San Diego County Farm Bureau on Friday that there is a massive shortage of avocados in the county and nationwide caused by labor strikes in Mexico.

    Growers and pickers in Mexico are having what officials called a “slow down,” or strikes, to affect the price of avocados in the U.S. Workers reported being unhappy with the prices they have been receiving for the fruits. Due to this, shipments coming into the U.S. have decreased, leading to a massive shortage that has been affecting restaurants and stores in the county and the everyday buyer.

    Officials told NBC 7 about 40 million pounds of avocados are usually transported from Mexico to the U.S a week. However, two weeks ago, less than half of that amount, about 13 million pounds of the fruit were shipped over across our border. 

    The strikes are also causing prices to increase.

    Juan Carlos Recamier, the head chef and owner of Ceviche House in North Park told NBC 7 the drought has already had an impact on avocado prices, but now it's worse with each case of the fruit costing his business more than $100.

    "We have guacamole on our menu and right now it says it’s not available," Recamier said. "It not only impacts mom and pop shops but the industry across the board."

    The director of operations at Puesto said they have been paying more than $100 per box of avocados as well. They used to pay $66.

    "Guacamole is part of the life blood of this restaurant," Lucien Conner said. "There is not going to be a day in Puesto without guacamole."

    Conner said they have been sending employees out to nearby stores and markets to buy any avocados they can find.

    NBC 7 also reached out to some local avocado distributors and was informed by supervisor workers employees were heading home early because they didn't have fruit to move.

    As of Friday, several people in the San Diego restaurant industry and an official with the Farm Bureau reported avocado prices dropping. They said that could be an indicator the strike issue is resolving.