Bad news for brunch lovers as avocado supplies dwindle.
Bad news for brunch lovers as avocado supplies dwindle.

The great avocado shortage of 2018

IF YOU thought the smashed avo on toast from your favourite breakfast place had significantly less of your favourite fruit on it, then you were probably right.

Australia has plunged into what has been called the Great Avocado Depression of 2018, with cafes struggling to keep up with the nation's obsession with the fruit as a harvest season gap forces many to ration their smashed avo dishes.

Cafes and restaurants, particularly in Queensland, are having to pay upwards of $90 for a tray, double the price of what they have been paying previously.

"This time last year they probably would have been down to $45-$50 a tray and now we're paying $95 a tray," Madeleine Crawford, head chef of Cairns cafe Caffiend, told the ABC.

Many cafes are being forced to compensate for this shortage by cutting down on portion sizes.

We've reduced the size of the serving a bit so instead of serving a whole half an avocado we're selling a quarter," Ms Crawford said.

"They're so hard to find in the supermarket anyway so I think our customers understand why."

 

The availability of the popular fruit has been so reduced that some places, such as Raw Espresso in Southport, Queensland, have had to cut it from the menu completely.

"When (customers) get to the counter and see the 'sorry, no avocado' sign they're speechless," barista Benjamin Sneddon told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

"They understand it's not our fault but people are so attached to their avocado, they feel a little lost without it.

"But I say to them, 'look on the bright side at least you'll be able to afford a house now!'"

It's not just cafes that are being affected, many people are struggling to find the trendy fruit in their local supermarkets, only to discover that when they finally do, the price has skyrocketed.

Shoppers are now being expected to pay anywhere from $4 to upwards of $8 for a single avocado, depending on the store.

 

The logistics of harvesting and moving produce over the Christmas period can also contribute to a slow down in product availability.

Australia also gets a lot of its produce from New Zealand, with a number of unexpected storms interrupting export as avocados can't be picked in wet weather.

Australia isn't the only country that is feeling the lack of avos, with the Kenyan government has banning the export of avocados over their dwindling numbers.

The Directorate of Horticulture made the announcement as prices of the fruit raised to a three-and-a-half-year high.

The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) has attributed the price hike to the shortage of popular varieties Fuerte and Hass.

The next region in Australia to harvest avocados is far north Queensland and the season generally kicks off around February, but the ABC reported that an earlier crop may be on the cards.

"Some small amounts of Shepard are already being delivered to market and higher quantities are expected to flow through from the first and second week of February, instead of the more usual mid-to-late February," Avocados Australia chief executive John Tyas said.



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