Avocado Black Market Thrives in Response to New Zealand's Crop Shortage

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

What would you do for a Klondike bar an avocado? 

An avocado shortage in New Zealand has led some enterprising thieves to steal avocados from farms, the Guardian reported. 

In New Zealand, avocados currently retail for quite a pretty penny — roughly $2.80 to $4.20, due to a poor crop last season and a skyrocketing demand. That's much more expensive than U.S. prices. Avocados sold for an average of $1.10 in New York in 2016, according to the Hass Avocado Board

Avo-robbers are snatching up to 350 fruit (yes, avocados are fruit) at a time; there have been 40 large-scale avocado orchard robberies since January. It's likely other thefts have gone unreported, the Guardian reported. 

How might one swipe avocados from an orchard? It's not quite an Ocean's Eleven-style operation. 

Source: Giphy

In the darkness of night, burglars "rake" the fruits from trees into a blanket spread out on the ground. They then pick up the blanket and hightail it out of there. 

"It's an easy way to make a quick buck, but I don't think we are dealing with a sophisticated or highly [organized] operation here, more opportunistic," Jen Scoular, New Zealand Avocado CEO, told the Guardian

But buyer beware when it comes to black market avocados: Illegally obtained avocados are unripe and might have toxins on the skin still, Sgt. Aaron Fraser of Waihi, with New Zealand police, noted. 

Is toxic guacamole better than no guacamole at all? Guess it all depends on how much illegal activity you can stomach.

Read more:
• Avocado Ice Cream Is the Answer to Your Almost-Too-Ripe Avocado Prayers
• Avocado Can Be Substituted for Butter to Make the Most Delicious Cake Ever
• Hellman's Told People to Put Mayo in Their Guacamole — And the Internet Is Freaking Out

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Alex Orlov

Alex is a food staff writer. She can be reached at aorlov@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Ten Commandments monument at Arkansas Capitol destroyed

The suspect appears to have broadcast the crash on Facebook Live.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Health care vote, Charges in Laquan McDonald shooting, U.S. image

The important stories to get you caught up for Wednesday.

Venezuela's Supreme Court targeted in helicopter attack amid ongoing crisis

The apparent helicopter attack is the latest escalation of an ongoing political crisis.

Iran calls Supreme Court's travel ban decision "racist" and "unfair"

Iranian officials criticized Trump's de-facto Muslim ban this week.

Kshama Sawant on why Seattle needs an independent investigation into the Charleena Lyles shooting

Seattle City Councilperson Kshama Sawant, member of Socialist Alternative party, discusses the Charleena Lyles investigation, tenant voter registration, why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 and more.

The EPA seeks to undo clean water rule, putting 117 million Americans' water at risk

The new rule could have "long-reaching consequences for everyone living in the United States.”

Ten Commandments monument at Arkansas Capitol destroyed

The suspect appears to have broadcast the crash on Facebook Live.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Health care vote, Charges in Laquan McDonald shooting, U.S. image

The important stories to get you caught up for Wednesday.

Venezuela's Supreme Court targeted in helicopter attack amid ongoing crisis

The apparent helicopter attack is the latest escalation of an ongoing political crisis.

Iran calls Supreme Court's travel ban decision "racist" and "unfair"

Iranian officials criticized Trump's de-facto Muslim ban this week.

Kshama Sawant on why Seattle needs an independent investigation into the Charleena Lyles shooting

Seattle City Councilperson Kshama Sawant, member of Socialist Alternative party, discusses the Charleena Lyles investigation, tenant voter registration, why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 and more.

The EPA seeks to undo clean water rule, putting 117 million Americans' water at risk

The new rule could have "long-reaching consequences for everyone living in the United States.”