Super Bowl Sunday is a second day in which Americans consume the most avocados, some 49.5 million pounds during the 2006 Super Bowl, this according to California Avocado Commission. Just in in case you are wondering which is the day that Americans consume the most avocados? Well it's none other than Cinco de Mayo.
This coming Thursday will mark the day in which Californian consumers will begin to benefit from Mexican avocado imports. Although the importation of Mexican avocados marks the elimination of a decades-old ban on imports of the fruit. The prohibition of Mexican avocados was ostensibly to prevent plant disease, but mostly it resulted in a protectionist market for growers in the United States. The consumer of avocados will hardly notice any difference in the avocados, except that they will be less expensive than before, because Mexico's avocado growers cultivate the Hass variety.
Leading up to Thursday avocados from Mexico were allowed in 47 states. The three remaining states that had been excluded where Florida, California, and Hawaii. Mexican farmers had long argued against the ban. Mexican farmers had pointed to the fact that since 1997 the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections had not revealed a single shipment containing pests. The California Avocado Commission contended that legitimate pest invasions exist as pests originating in Mexico have made their way to California and the control of these pests have increased their costs. That argument has helped keep avocado prices relatively high in California, where avocados are primarily a seasonal fruit and commands a premium price at upwards to $1.00 per fruit.
Mexico and Chile two countries that will increase their fruit exports to are likely to contribute to the reduction of prices of the fleshy creamy green fruit and possibly ride the tide of it's increasing popularity.
Mexican farmers remain hopeful as trucks laden with their avocados headed north to the border this past Friday. In Uruapan, Mexico where 80% of the fruit is grown, locals waved at trucks carrying Hass avocados bound for California and Florida, which along with Hawaii were the last remaining states to lift the ban.