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As President Trump continues his threats to close the border, analysts are looking at how that would impact Americans’ food supply. In a report published today, Reuters cited recent data from the United States Department of Agriculture that says nearly half of all imported vegetables and 40 percent of imported fruits are grown in Mexico.
While there are other countries that produce the fruits and vegetables we consume, it would take time to adjust trade plans. One of the most imminent problems we’d face would be an avocado shortage, should the border actually close in the next week.
Steve Barnard, the president of Mission Produce, the largest distributor and grower of avocados in the world, told Reuters that because Mexico supplies most of the avocados sold in the U.S. at this time of year, closing the border would mean running out of avocados in as little as three weeks.
California’s growing season is just starting, so avocados grown there wouldn’t be ready for another month or so. Of note, Barnard told Reuters that California has a “very small crop.” Depending on how long trade was halted, that could mean fewer avocados in stores and higher prices on the ones that are available.
Other produce that could be in short supply include tomatoes, cucumbers, blackberries, and raspberries, the majority of which all currently come from Mexico.