MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The United States has stopped all avocado imports from Mexico until further notice, following a threat to an American plant safety inspector.
“If we don’t solve this in the next two, three weeks, it’s going to impact us for a couple of years to come,” said Chief Executive of Agtools Martha Montoya.
The threat to the inspector comes amid escalating drug cartel violence in Michoacan, where nearly 90% of the avocados the U.S. imports comes from.
Avocado prices are already much higher compared to a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“I would say an avocado could go up to $5, $6 a unit,” said Montoya.
Montoya says it’s not just the consumer that will be impacted – hundreds of millions of dollars will be lost and the environment will be affected.