Where does the united states get most of its avocados? :- Avocados (Persea Americana) is not a vegetable but actually a fruit that is believed to have originated in Mexico and Central and South America.
Avocado trees were first planted in Florida in 1833 and then in California in 1856. California produces a large amount of avocado, followed by Florida and Hawaii according to NASS.
The avocado (Persea Americana) is the fruit of a tree native to Latin America and the Caribbean. It is cultivated in many countries with tropical climates in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as well as Florida and California in the United States (USA).
The Hass variety is the dominant and most popular commercial type cultivated due to year-round production, longest shelf life, and its rich, nutty flavor. The Hass variety is exported in large volumes to the USA.
The USA is the country that is the world’s largest avocado importer. Other common varieties include Reed Strong, Zutano, and Bacon (grown in California) and Choquette, Hall, and Lulu (grown in Florida).
Where Does The United States Get Most Of Its Avocados?
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Central and South American countries dominate global avocado production, with Indonesia and the United States also notable producers. World avocado production grew at an average rate of almost seven percent annually between 2008 and 2013.
This compares with four percent annually between 2004 and 2007. Mexico is the world’s leading avocado producer. In 2012, it produced 1,300 metric tons (MT), equivalent to 30 percent of world production.
This is almost four times that of Indonesia, the second-largest producer. Production in Chile which is the second-largest producer in 2009, has decreased by 45 percent in the past 3 years as a result of bad weather and drought.
Africa accounted for 16 percent of world production in 2012, a slight increase of 15 percent in 2008. Other major producers include Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Peru. Avocado production in the United States is centered in California and Florida, and to a limited degree in Hawaii.
Ninety percent of US avocado production originates in California, most of which is planted with the Hass variety. California avocados are produced and marketed throughout the year, although the fastest-growing season is from April to September.
Florida generally grows Booth, Lula, and Taylor varieties, as the Hass variety does not adapt well in Florida’s colder winter. These varieties have smoother skins and are not transported as well as the Hass variety. Florida avocados are produced from June to March.
In 2012, the United States produced 245,000 MT of avocado, approximately seven percent of world production. USA production of Avocado Per year has been very variable.
This reflects alternate years of high and low load, which is a characteristic of avocado production. Over the past decade, production averaged 212,000 MT, with a 2005 high of 283,000 MT and a low of 105,000 MT in 2010.
The value of US avocado production measured $ 392 million in 2017. The United States produced 146,310 tons. The total number of U.S. acres in production stabilized at 56,580 (NASS, 2018).
Certain varieties, like Hass, tend to give good results only in alternate years. After a season with poor performance, due to factors such as the cold (which the avocado does not tolerate well), the trees tend to produce abundantly the next season.
This heavy crop depletes stored carbohydrates, resulting in reduced yield the following season, and therefore the alternative support pattern is established.
Marketing of Avocados
Avocados have been marketed as a healthy dietary option and as a good source of beneficial monounsaturated oil. A whole medium avocado contains approximately 15 percent of the FDA’s recommended daily allowance for saturated fat.
Also, avocados have 60 percent more potassium than bananas. They are also rich in B vitamins, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and folic acid. Avocados are also a benefit to a diabetic diet.
With the rise of diabetes in the United States, avocados may offer a nutritious option for those on a diabetic diet. The United States is a negligible exporter of avocado, so practically all of the 245,000 MT of national production is consumed in the country.
Combining domestic production with imports of 571,827 MT in 2012, total domestic consumption equals 816,827 MT, equivalent to 19 percent of global consumption.
An import ban on avocado had been in place since 1914 to protect against agricultural pests and diseases (especially avocado seed weevils). These restrictions began to be eased in 1997 and in 2007 and all restrictions had been removed.
Since then, the United States has become the world’s largest avocado importer. US imports now represent about 12 percent of total world production. In 2013, USA imported 571,827 MT, valued at $ 1.08 billion. More than 98 percent of US avocado imports from only three countries: Mexico, Chile, and Peru.
Demand of Avocados
U.S. avocado consumption has followed a variable but generally increasing trend since 1970, increasing significantly from 2.23 pounds per capita in 2000 to a record of 7.1 pounds per capita in 2016 (Statista, 2018).
Per capita, avocado consumption in the United States has grown rapidly over the past two decades after many years of annual variability and slow growth as per capita consumption increased from £ 1.1 in 1994 to £ 8.0 in 2018.
There has been no clear trend in real prices to indicate that the supply of fresh avocados is relatively elastic over time, a result only possible because demand has expanded to keep pace with the rapid growth of supplies in the US market.
During the 15-year period from January 2, 2003, to December 31, 2017, HAB collected evaluations totaling more than $ 495.7 million.
Total marketing and promotional expenses for the 15 years by the organization were: CAC, $ 143.1 million; Chile, $ 40.5 million; Mexico, $ 238.3 million; Peru, $ 11.5 million; and HAB, $ 63.0 million. These promotional expenses were a very important factor related to the increase in the American demand for avocados.
Econometric studies of avocado growers’ returns on their advertising and promotional expenses in the US market. They have shown positive cost/benefit relationships in the range between 2.5 and 4.0.
Each of these studies has concluded that the returns on advertising/promotion costs are attractive and that increased advertising/promotion costs would have produced additional profits
Avocados are produced in the United States year-round, but the peak growing season is April through September. Imports in these months are correspondingly low.
However, since domestic production does not meet domestic demand, imports still average 382 MT per month, almost exclusively from Mexico and Peru. In comparison, from October to March, imports average 2,247 MT, and it is during this period that Chile supplies the market.
Mexico, the world’s largest avocado producer, has dramatically increased its avocado exports to the U.S. market. Imports of Mexican avocados increased from 300,607 MT in 2009 to 509,771 MT in 2013.
The United States is the main export market for Mexico, with 78 percent of total exports. Mexico’s share of the US market increased from 70 percent in 2009 to 89 percent in 2013.
The vast majority of Mexican avocado exports are managed directly by packers, who have significant US investment in operations and marketing.
Mexico supplied the majority of imported avocados to the United States in 2017. In 2017, the United States imported $ 2.6 billion in fresh avocados and exported approximately $ 28,500 in fresh avocados (ERS 2018) in the year 2017.
To all 50 states in USA commercial shipments of avocados from approved orchards in Mexico can now be distributed. As border restrictions were relaxed, provisions were made to reduce Mexican production, in an attempt to avoid saturation of the US market. Rapid growth in demand soon led to a dramatic increase in imports.
Mexico’s position in supplying the US market reflects its global production dominance, its year-round production schedule, and its proximity to US markets. USA Peru has become a new provider for the US market after being granted market access in 2010.
Peru exported 21,617 MT of avocados to the USA in 2013, worth $ 44 million dollars. Peruvian avocado production peaks in the summer at the same time as California production and Peru has been able to position itself as a supplier when California production does not meet demand.
The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the United States and Chile signed in 2003 gives Chile a tax-free quota that increases from 49,000 MT in 2004 by 5 percent per year for 12 years until 2016, after which access it will be completely tax-free. Despite this increased access, Chile’s role in the US avocado market has decreased.
US imports have fallen 80 percent since 2009, from 116,709 MT to 23,438 MT in 2013. Chile now represents just 4 percent of the US market. This reflects a drop in national production as a result of bad weather and drought.
California Dominated the US Avocado Market USA Until the 1980s, and fresh imports generally represent less than 1% of total consumption. This began to change in the early 1990s when Chile and the Dominican Republic increased avocado shipments to the US.
And then CAC’s efforts to block Mexican avocado imports failed in 1997. Avocado imports began to increase substantially when fresh avocados from Mexico were allowed into the USA market, with a four-phase opening of the US market that spanned from 1997 to 2007.
Initial imports went to 19 Northeast and Midwest states and Washington DC during the winter months. Allowing avocados to enter markets that tend to be underserved by California, combined with the national public relations program for health and wellness.
The nutritional benefits of consuming avocados resulted in a very effective ten-year market development program.
In response to the problem of free importation into a national research and promotion programs, the CAC directed the efforts of industry to secure the passage of the Hass Avocado Promotion, as the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) was established by research and information act of 2000.
On January 2, 2003, HAB began collecting an assessment of $ 2.5 cents per pound on all imported and domestically produced Hass avocados sold in the US market.
The evaluation is compiled by the first handlers for California production, and by the United States Customs Service for imports, and sent to HAB.
In US promotional programs, HAB compensates 85% of national evaluations to CAC and Importers Associations for use. USA Importers associations are currently in operation for avocados from Mexico, Chile, and Peru. HAB uses the remaining funds for its operations, nutrition and health research, advocacy, and information technology programs.
In advanced commercial processing plants, once avocados are transported from the field to the factory, they are transported by a conveyor belt where they are sorted and graded. There are three grades of avocado.
- The US. No. 1 graded avocado comprises of avocados of various characteristics that are trimmed and free from decay, anthracnose and freezing injury, and free of damage caused by bruises, cuts or other breaks in the skin, well-formed, clean, ripe but not so overripe, well colored, pulled stems, rusting or similar discoloration, scars or scabs, sunburn, sunscald or spray burns, Cercospora spots, other diseases, insects or other means. Since these fruits are visibly attractive, usually shipped to grocery stores and displayed on the shelves.
- “US. No. 2 grade avocado comprises of avocados of similar varietal characteristics that are ripe but not overripe, fairly well-formed, clean, fairly well-colored, trimmed, and free of breakdown and freeze injury and free of serious damage caused by anthracnose, bruising, cuts or other breaks in the skin, plucked stems, rusting or similar discoloration, scars or scabs, sunburn, sunscald or spray burns, Cercospora spots, other diseases, insects or other means. These fruits are not as pleasing in appearance as US No. 1 fruits, but they still taste the same – they are typically shipped to food service establishments and other retail ingredients for food products, such as the guacamole so they mature quickly before being shipped to their final destination. The pressurized air ripening rooms are specifically designed to ripen avocados at a faster rate. The ambient temperature is raised and about 100 parts per million ethylene are pumped into the room. Ethylene is a naturally maturing hormone that is artificially used in avocado processing facilities to speed up the process. Avocados in the ripening chamber ripen in three days instead of seven or eight days. When the process is complete, the room circulates with cold air to shock the fruit and prevent further ripening. After this step, the fruit is checked to make sure they are at the desired maturity. They leave the ripening room on a conveyor belt and pass under a machine that shoots a blast of ultrasound waves through each avocado. The machine tells the computer about how ripe is each avocado. Avocados that are above or below ripening soar off the line. Each sensor can process up to six avocados per second at full speed. Avocados that are ready for shipment are packaged by hand and shipped to their destination.
- The US. No. 3 graded avocado comprises of avocados of similar varietal characteristics that are ripe but not overripe, that are not very deformed, and that are free from decay and free from serious damage caused by anthracnose and free from damage caused by frostbite injury, bruising, cuts or another breakage of the skin, pulled stems, discoloration, scars or scabs, sunburn, sunscald or spray burn, another spot, other diseases, insects, dirt or other means. Sometimes the damage does not allow these fruits to ripen properly, so they are often used as animal feed.
During peak production, processing facilities can produce around 500,000 pounds of avocado per day. Once avocados are classified, US No. 1 Avocado. They are shipped to grocery stores and some restaurants as they slowly mature on their journey.
Florida avocados ripen best at temperatures from 60 ° to 75 ° F (16 ° to 24 ° C). At higher temperatures, the fruit ripens unevenly and develops unpleasant flavors.
The lowest safe storage temperatures before the fruit ripens are 55 ° F (13 ° C) for the West Indies and 40 ° F (4 ° C) for most other Florida varieties. Cold injury is characterized by a blackening or darkening of the skin and / or a grayish-brown discoloration of the flesh. After the fruit ripens, they can be stored in the refrigerator.
Ripe fruit can be eaten and used in salad dressing, as a flavoring for ice cream, as a filling for sandwiches, and in quick desserts. In Brazil, Vietnam, and Taiwan, avocados are frequently used for smoothies and occasionally added to ice cream.
In the Philippines, Jamaica, and Indonesia, a dessert drink is made with sugar, milk, and mashed avocado. Avocados are served mixed with white rice in central America. In Chile, they are often used in hamburgers, hot dogs, and celery salads.
Other uses include pressing the fruit for avocado oil production and using the flesh to mix and apply adobe. Various parts of the avocado have medicinal benefits.
When boiled, the leaves are believed to be a remedy for diarrhea. The pulp is used to speed up pus formation in wounds. The seeds can be broken and used as fillers for toothache.
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