By Carolyn Twesten, Weaver Street Market Produce Merchandiser
Where are the Equal Exchange avocados?? Short answer: they are coming soon! Around the end of September or beginning of October, to be exact.
We usually see the Equal Exchange avocados arriving in early September, but this year a combination of factors is delaying the harvest. Avocado harvests across the Western Hemisphere were down 30% this spring and summer. Flooding in Peru this spring prevented much of their avocado crop from getting to market, causing supplies to be even tighter going into the fall. Finally, tropical storms in Mexico are slowing the harvest of early fruit from the 2017-2018 crop.
Additionally, Equal Exchange’s avocado growing cooperative (PRAGOR) comprises 22 small farms, rather than the large plantations that other fruit corporations purchase from. Those small farms currently do not have enough mature fruit to begin harvesting. When they do, Weaver Street Market will purchase over 100 boxes of avocados from them every week!
Last year our customers purchased 174,447 fair trade, organic avocados from Equal Exchange. Those purchases helped fund projects in the Michoacan region of Mexico, such as a reforestation campaign and an initiative to improve the local community’s access to clean water. So hang on, the avocados are coming!