Escondido, CA

Henry Avo recall affects prices

The recall last week of avocados processed at the Escondido Henry Avocado plant have caused prices of the green fruit to increase significantly, according to market reports. 

Prices have jumped back up on domestic avocados since the recall, and market analysists are giving credit to the recall for the leap in price. 

Last week Henry Avocado voluntarily recalled whole avocados grown in California only and sold in bulk at retail stores because they were potentially contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. 

Before that happened the market price for the fruit was $22-$24 per box and this week, prices were $39-$41 per box, according to Jorge Mardones of OTC Produce LLC. in McAllen, Texas, who was quoted by the market newsletter Fresh Plaza. “It created a huge jump in prices.”

Fresh Plaza also reported that “Production in California however is still moving along, though notably volume is down overall out of California. (The Irvine, Ca.-based California Avocado Commission reports the current estimate for the California avocado crop for November 2018 to October 2019 is 175 million pounds. That’s about half the volume of 2017-2018.) “The Listeria was just from one grower and they got it very early and are doing everything they can to fix the problem,” says Mardones. “I think in two weeks, everyone will forget about this.”

Fresh Plaza also quoted Mardones as pointing to “to transitioning regions in Mexico as another reason why the market has suddenly seen a change in availability and pricing. “The supply is less than two weeks ago. Two weeks ago I had a warehouse full of avocados and today it’s a few pallets. Everyone’s asking for avocados,” he says.

And with demand for avocados staying as per usual, which is strong, Mardones believes pricing will stay around $40-$42/box. “This is a good price for everyone. $20/box was very bad,” he says.

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