Our Avocado Addiction Is Fueling A Wave Of Crime In New Zealand

I’ll Have The Avocado On Toast, But Hold The Avocado.

Our Avocado Addiction Is Fueling A Wave Of Crime In New Zealand

by Ruby Norris |
Published on

An increasingly high demand for avocados, both locally and internationally, is causing a new crime wave in New Zealand. Since the start of the year, New Zealand’s North Island has seen nearly 40 large-scale thefts from avocado orchards and many more are suspected to have gone unreported.

This surge in avocado-based criminal activity comes after the country noted a particularly bad season for avocado growing last year, while demand both at home and abroad surged. This inability to the meet demands of an increase in avocado fanatics also caused prices to soar to up to NZ$6 – that’s around £3 – per fruit. Earlier this year, an Avocado shortage also threatened brunchers in Australia when prices rose dramatically.

These recent thefts are reported to have taken place in the middle of the night. The crop is raked from the tree and collected in a sheet on the ground, or sometimes even hand-picked. It is then taken to make-shift road-side stalls or small, independent food shops across New Zealand.

Not only are the stolen avocados enabling a booming black market with the potential for large profits, they also ‘carry risks’ according to Sergeant Aaron Fraser. Most of them are unripe and some may also still carry toxins due to recently being sprayed.

Despite this surge in prices and resulting wave of crime, Jen Scoular, New Zealand Avocado CEO, is hopeful that a promising season ahead should flood the market with locally-grown avocados and reduce the incentive for thieves. Scoular also claims that farms in New Zealand are getting increasingly better at protecting their crops with new automatic lights and alarm systems.

Over here in the UK, for the time being we can continue to indulge in good fats and experiment with our deliciously green friend, but remember to always brunch responsibly!

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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