Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Drought Still Threatens Guacamole as Avocado Farming Suffers

When Chipotle warned investors back in March that it might suspend serving guacamole at its restaurants if avocado prices rise due to the California drought, climate change suddenly hit home for chip-and-dip lovers, who took to Twitter in distress. Things have not gotten better since then. It takes a 74 gallons of water to produce one pound of avocados — and drought-stricken California produces 95% of the avocados grown in the United States. No wonder Chipotle's bean counters are worried. And water isn't the only challenge. Avocado growers have been hit by a triple whammy: Spikes in fertilizer costs, rising water rates, and stagnant wholesale prices due to competition from cheap imports from Peru, Chile, and Mexico. This has forced many small farmers to shut off the water and let their groves go dry.

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