Is America’s appetite for avocados actually helping the Mexican cartels?


America’s appetite for avocados is helping to fuel the Mexican cartels, but giving up guacamole isn’t the solution…

US consumption of avocados has increased drastically in recent years. But the increase has also become a boon to Mexican cartels, who have extorted avocados farmers for money.

While the long-term solution to this problem will require serious reforms in Mexico, US consumers can help to advocate for change from avocado buyers.

But boycotting avocados altogether will not help the thousands of people employed on the avocado farms. Falko Ernst is Senior Analyst Mexico at the International Crisis Group based in Mexico.

For Mexico’s avocado producers, the explosion in their crop’s popularity has brought a veritable green gold rush, but it also has a darker side. So rich in nutrients they are widely labeled a “superfruit,” consumption of avocados in the US alone has doubled in the last ten years to make for a $2.4 billion market.

Photo: PInterest

As a result, everybody from producers down in Mexico, which provides 80% of what is consumed in the States, to your local Whole Foods has been making a killing. The issue: so has Mexican organized crime, literally. Above all in the state of Michoacán, which exports 90% of Mexico’s avocados, the bloodshed is no longer “just” about drugs. It is also about avocados.    


This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.


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