The insecurity in the Mexican state of Michoacan and the criminal groups that operate in the territory are affecting the avocado industry, which is affected by thefts every day. According to farmers dedicated to the industry, this situation could increase the product's price, as the losses caused by the thefts have to be compensated.
The Attorney General's Office has opened 440 avocado theft investigations between 2017 and 2019. In 2017, producers reported 144 robberies, and the merchandise was only recovered in four cases. The following year, thefts increased to 165.
Fed up with the situation, the members of the Association of Avocado Producers and Exporters of Mexico, the Union of Packers and Marketers of Avocado in Michoacan, and the Association of Packers of Periban, released a statement in which they requested the authorities protection on the routes through which this fruit is moved within the territory of Michoacan.
This is because the companies where the product is packaged are the most affected by the thefts. They buy the avocado directly from the producers, but the factories where the product will be prepared for its final destination (as more than half of the production is exported, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), receive incomplete shipments, which translates into large economic losses.
The price of a kilogram of the fruit ranges between 70 and 100 pesos in supermarkets, but in the document disseminated by the associations, they warn that each stolen kilogram will only be paid at 15 pesos. This measure could lead to an increase in avocado prices to cover the losses from the thefts.