The Hass avocado harvest is in full swing in the Spanish Region of Valencia, and with it, plenty of reports of theft, motivated by the attractive prices that this subtropical fruit reaches.
The Valencian Association of Agricultural Producers (AVA-ASAJA) and the Association of Avocado Producers (ASOPROA) have denounced a wave of robberies in a number of Valencian regions, which are also reported in other regions, such as Andalusia, and warn that many of the stolen avocados are sold in local markets and greengrocers without proper traceability and without the fruit having reached their optimal state of maturity, because they are of a later variety: the Lamb Hass, the most common in the Region of Valencia.
The president of AVA-ASAJA, Cristóbal Aguado, says that “the robberies are harming Valencian producers doubly. On the one hand, they leave them without the harvest of a whole year; a harvest that has a very important value in the market, thereby jeopardizing the continuity of the farm after a huge investment has been made. On the other hand, thieves, out of sheer ignorance, steal avocados of the Lamb Hass variety, which have the right size and have a color similar to that of the Hass, but which will still take several months to ripen. This will lead to disappointment of consumer expectations and may end up taking a toll on the demand when the bulk of the Valencian production arrives.”
For his part, the president of ASOPROA, Celestino Recatalá, said that producers should “file complaints, even if they think they are useless and just a waste of their time, because the ROCA Civil Guard teams say that more batches of stolen avocados are found in local markets than complaints are filed by producers. If we denounce it, the security forces will have more information to try to stop this scourge.” Furthermore, Recatalá asked the Government Delegation and the town councils to “provide more resources, both on rural roads and at points of sale, to combat theft.”