❝ Surging local and international demand for avocados is fuelling a crime wave in New Zealand.
Since January there have been close to 40 large-scale thefts from avocado orchards in the north island of New Zealand, with as many as 350 fruit stolen at a time…It is suspected many more thefts have gone unreported.
Avocados are selling for between NZ$4-6 each [US$2.80-4.20] across the country, after a poor season last year and increasing local demand.
❝ According to New Zealand Avocado in 2015 an additional 96,000 New Zealand households began purchasing avocados, and local growers – largely geared towards the lucrative export market – have been unable to keep up with the surge in demand.
❝ …Sergeant Aaron Fraser of Waihi said there had been “spates” of avocado thefts during his time in the police but nothing as sustained as the current activity.
“These stolen avocados can carry risks,” he said…“They are unripe, some have been sprayed recently and they may still carry toxins on the skin. But with the prices so high at the moment, the potential for profit is a strong inducement for certain individuals.”
One of those commodity tales that prompts me to think of renting a not-too-big agri-freighter and bringing over a load from Mexico. We’re currently buying avocados at retail for about 50¢ apiece North of the Mexican border.
Thanks, Mister Justin