What price avocados?

I walked down to the bank the other day to pay some bills. While I was waiting I picked up the local free paper.

It’s quite a good one, and even has a page in English. That’s probably good news for the journalists as it means at least one page less to fill with stories. I can empathise with that.

But they don’t translate one of the most interesting sections of the paper and that’s the local agricultural news. Agriculture is one of the main sources of income around here.

Apparently the local avocado market is having a bad time. Growers are competing with cheap imports from Chile, Israel, the Dominican Republic and Peru.

Although the imported avocados are of a poorer quality, the major buyers and supermarkets are buying those instead of the local products. The strength of the euro against the dollar is an added factor in the price war.

On top of that, the harvest is 30 to 40% lower than normal owing to some of the hurricane force winds that the area has had during the winter months (I haven’t noticed that many, but I was probably asleep).

Funnily enough the next day, Dog Walking Partner was chatting to one of the local growers (veg not avocados) and he was saying both the wholesale vegetable market and the supermarkets are trying to drive the prices down, so all the small growers round here are struggling a bit at the moment.

The local paper also gives some of the prices. They didn’t include avocados, but lemons for example, go for 9 cents per kilo for the grower, the market then sells them for 50 cents, and the retailer then sells them on for 1.28€.

I’ve picked the most extreme example (being a good journalist). In fact you can buy them for less than that around here. I don’t because someone always gives me some. Everyone has a lemon tree in their garden. But at that price they are not worth picking.

It’s nice here is southern Spain. The sun shines, the scenery is stunning, and you can find a lot of peace and tranquility. But it’s not easy to earn a living.

Sources: Informaciones, Jose Antonio.


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