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Love of avocados drives record-breaking imports from Mexico

According to a new economic contribution analysis from Texas A&M University, the imports of Mexican Hass avocados have made substantial contributions to the U.S. economy during the 2019-20 growing season. In this timeframe, more than 2.1 billion pounds of avocados were imported into the U.S. from the Mexican state of Michoacán – fueling consumers' love of the healthy fruit while also positively benefiting and growing U.S. national and state economies.

The economic analysis concludes significant contributions from U.S. imports of Mexican Hass avocados to the U.S. economy as avocado imports move through the food supply chain and stimulate various market activities. The contributions include:

  •     $6.5 billion in output or spending
  •     $4.0 billion to the U.S. GDP (value-added)
  •     33,051 jobs for American workers
  •     $2.2 billion in labor income
  •     $1.1 billion in taxes

Comparing the results of this report to those in previous years reveals the growing importance of Mexican avocado imports to the U.S. economy. The contribution of avocado imports to total U.S. output increased 273 percent from $1.7 billion in 2012 to $6.5 billion in FY 2019-20. At the same time, the contribution of those imports to U.S. GDP (value added) has increased by nearly 230 percent from $1.2 billion to $3.99 billion. The contributions to U.S. labor income, U.S. tax revenues, and employment have also registered dramatic increases (219 percent, 558 percent, and 194 percent, respectively).

The report also showed that, as a result of the growing demand for avocados, domestic U.S. growers have also benefited from higher price points and a larger market for their products. Avocado farming continues to be a viable and sustainable business venture in Mexico as well: the Mexican avocado industry creates approximately 78,000 direct and permanent jobs and 310,000 indirect and seasonal jobs, providing a productive living in a region that was once one of the largest sources of migrant workers in the U.S.

"The numbers of the report show the expansive growth in economic benefits that avocado imports from Mexico have provided to the U.S.," said Alvaro Luque, CEO of Avocados From Mexico. "Through our win-win partnership between the U.S. and Mexico, Avocados From Mexico has become an economic engine that supplies the growing demand for avocados in the U.S. and benefits the wholesale, retail and foodservice industries at both state and national levels. Despite the challenges rocking the foodservice industry this year, the avocado category has continued to grow in volume and economic value."

The record-breaking volume year for avocado imports is driven by the skyrocketing demand for avocados: avocado consumption has grown over 600 percent between 1989-90 and 2019-20, an impressive 10 percent average annual growth rate over that period. The unique microclimate, volcanic soil and timely rainfall of Michoacán, Mexico allows avocados to be grown year-round, which is why its orchards supply nearly 82 percent of the avocado imports into the U.S.

Avocados From Mexico represents a unique collaboration between the two countries: AFM is a non-profit marketing organization that brings together the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association and the Mexican Avocado Producers and Packers to promote the consumption of Mexican avocados in the U.S. This has helped fuel the United States' love for the healthy avocado fruit and builds a bond that benefits both countries economically – not to mention the health attributes avocados provide to consumers.

For the full report, visit https://avocadoinstitute.org/economic/2020-update-the-u-s-national-and-state-level-economic-benefits-of-avocado-imports-from-mexico/

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