High Dimension

In an ironic twist, Australians are now being urged to eat more avocados

Eating mashed avocado on toast will no longer affect your credit rating.

Avocados, once a status symbol in Australian homes like pay TV, have seen their prices drop dramatically across the country, to the point that farmers are now begging consumers to eat more of them.

A recent report on the Australian avocado market described that an “avo-lanch” of new products is threatening the financial viability of the entire Australian market, with farmers currently supplying 22 avocados per Australian.

The Rabobank-commissioned report identified a bumper crop in Western Australia that led to a staggering 265% increase on total production last year, amid fears growers may be forced to dump produce to avoid to bring down the market.

“Some growers are pulling out older trees…or blocks that don’t work and have issues,” Avocados Australia chairman Jim Kochi told the ABC as growers report their lowest yields in 20 years in a context of rising labor and fertilizer costs.

Avocado grower Jo Houghton told Junkee that the fruit’s ability to be grown almost year-round, combined with the high value of the product, has led growers to invest heavily in the Australian market.

“Avocados were a product that fetched very high prices,” Houghton told Junkee. “So about five years ago, a group of people were like, ‘Great, let’s plant a bunch of trees!'”

Houghton, who runs avocado shop Avocado Jo, says the profits commercial farms have been looking to make from the notoriously expensive fruit have been wiped out by market saturation, as day-to-day costs further diminish yields.

“They have been planted on an extremely commercial scale in Australia, primarily in Western Australia and northern Queensland. There are only a few months in the year when there isn’t a lot of supply, we can eat avocados all year round,” Houghton told Junkee.

“Some farmers may need to change their farming practices in the future, and there are sure to be companies that may not find it viable anymore – especially with inflation and fertilizer costs, and the ability to find entrepreneurs. It will be a challenge for small farmers as well as for large farmers.”

“Farmers will have to be increasingly responsible to supply this excellent quality fruit and to have the agricultural practices that consumers want.”

In this bizarre new dimension we have entered – sponsored by advanced capitalism – the fruit that economists once blamed for keeping millennials out of the housing market is cheaper and more readable than scary lettuce.