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Where Avocados are Grown
Avocado harvest can begin in the late fall or early winter and may continue until the following fall. In Florida, avocados are harvested from late May through March.
Land that was already deforested for defunct agriculture is now being forested with avocado trees.
Avocados can be healthy, tasty and trendy, but overexploitation can have severe social and environmental consequences. More standards,regulation and certifications are needed to make sure the industry growth is sustainable. Regenerative agriculture practices could be employed to prevent some of the harmful effects of the avocado industry.
Be aware of what you consume and try to buy fairtrade whenever possible.
There needs to be thought put into the rapid growth of the avocado industry and its economic impact on jobs and people vs its impact on the environment and organized crime.
What are some ways we can address the issues involved in the avocado industry while maintaining the social wellbeing of people and the planet?
The economic impact on rural communities has provided employment to thousands of workers who now can provide for their families.
The tax revenue has allowed governments to afford better social services, infrastructure and facilities to improve education and health for citizens.
When avocados are grown for export and not for local communities, it can have a negative impact on water resources and local food security.
In Mexico, cartels such as the Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar) or the Jalisco New Generation Cartel control much of the state of Michoacán and other parts of Mexico where avocados are grown. The cartels extort money from avocado producers as a protection fee to avoid harm to the crops, workers, or families. Through blackmail and intimidation of officials and stakeholders, cartels extract money from the avocado industry that affect profits and wages.
78 percent of consumers say the top barrier to buying avocados is “avocados are frequently too expensive”
High moisture and lipid content makes avocados susceptible to bacteria growth. Foodborne pathogens are at risk because avocados are mostly consumed raw and often mixed with other raw ingredients to make guacamole. The FDA has tightened restrictions on avocado food safety to prevent spread of pathogens such as Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. Food safety standards of “clean, separate, cook, and chill” precautions must be taken for proper storage, food worker handling, and preparation. Wash avocados under running water before eating, cutting, or cooking, even if the skin will be removed prior to consumption.
Avocado Nutrition Facts Infographic
Agrmc.org Agriculture Marketing Research Center
The Hass Avocado Promotion and Research Order
California Avocado Commission 2016 (CAC).
Global Ag Trade System 2015, Foreign Ag Service, USDA.
New Phytosanitary Regulations Allow Higher Imports of Avocados. Amber Waves, ERS, USDA, 2006.
University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts 2014 Summary (July 2015), National Ag Statistics Service (NASS), USDA, 2015.
The Hass Avocado Promotion and Research Order: Offsetting Price Impacts from Imports with Advertising and Promotion, Working paper No. 04-006.
National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS), 2018.
Economic Research Service (ERS), 2018.
Food Source Information- Colorado Integrated Food Safety Center for Excellence