(PatrioticPost.com)- All avocado imports from Mexico’s Michoacan state have been temporarily halted to the U.S., after a health inspector from America recently received a threat.
On Saturday, the agriculture ministry in Mexico announced the temporary halt on shipments from the state to the U.S. The country’s Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development released a statement that said a health official had received a threatening phone call to his cell phone recently.
The statement read in part:
[U.S. health authorities] made the decision after one of their officials, who was carrying out inspections in Uruapan, Michoacan, received a threatening message on his official cellphone.”
At the time, the inspector was conducting an inspection in a city in the state called Uruapan. Inspectors from agencies in the U.S. conduct inspections of all fruits that come from Mexico so they can ensure all shipments don’t carry any diseases that could potentially affect avocado crops in America.
The region has been plagued by gang violence, and the state is considered one of the deadliest in the entire country.
For the past few decades, it’s become a hub for drug trafficking. In recent years, rival cartels have been fighting for power, and armed struggles have been increasing rapidly.
The statement wouldn’t specifically disclosure the content of the threat. However, it was certainly considered serious enough that all imports of the major crop were halted temporarily while the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture conduct an investigation into the matter.
This would be a huge blow to the Michoacan state, and to the U.S. as well. The state is the largest exporter of avocados in the world, with more than 135,000 tons of the crop being sent to the U.S. over just the last six weeks.
The industry has been the subject of many threats from members of the various drug cartels, though, since it’s so lucrative. In 2019, avocado growers in the state started to arm themselves so they could protect themselves against robberies from the drug cartels.
In fact, many of the growers had AR-15 rifles to protect their precious “green gold,” as it’s referred to in the region.
Prices for avocados rose to record highs in recent weeks, as the Super Bowl was held last Sunday. Bloomberg reported that the price hikes were due in part to a labor crunch, a logjam in the supply chain as well as increased costs of production.
A recent report from the USDA said average prices of avocados at U.S. supermarkets were currently roughly 60% higher than they were only a year ago. At the same time, production of avocados from Mexico was estimated to be roughly 8% lower this year than it was last year.
The last year that there was data available on the value of Mexico’s avocado exports was 2020. That year, the country exported just shy of $3 billion worth of the crop, and 80% of those exports went to the United States.