By Iyer Amruthur, ALC San Antonio
Lush leaves, warm waters, flourishing flora, are just a few of the things that come to mind in a picturesque way when one thinks of California. But California is not just a “start-all, end-all” vacation spot. Coastal California actually has a lot more to do with you than you think.
Do you enjoy complete and balanced meals? Of course, you do! It’s important to maintain your body and keep yourself properly hydrated and hit all the food groups. Fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, grains, are all main staples but chances are your fruit didn’t come from a couple of miles down the road, it more than likely came from one of our powerhouse produce states.
Just to name a few: Texas, Florida, and California. These three states play a big role in getting those delicious dinners and popping picnics to come together. Did you know California by itself produces more cash receipts from produce than the entire Mountain/Pacific region states combined or that about half as much comes from Texas, which has 86% of its land [ocregister.com]used for agricultural production?
While this is fantastic for our country to have so many geographic options for crops, sometimes those regions come with a bit of a headache down the road. As you know historically, California has experienced drought from the early 2000s to today, and if you’re a Texas resident you know we’ve been feeling the same. What does that mean at the end of the day for our nation?
Let’s step back for a second and have some breakfast, and figure things out. As you may have heard one of the trendiest foods incorporated into breakfast this side of the decade has been avocados, maybe you’ve seen them aesthetically spread onto toast.
Along with many other functional foods, avocados have almost doubled in price (complimented with far more than double the demand) since a few years ago. Unfortunately, that breakfast might be a little bit more expensive on the west coast now. California is one of our nation’s leaders in producing avocados.
In 2014, California’s last notable drought [businessinsider.com[businessinsider.com] top exports such as avocados, berries, cruciferous vegetables, i.e. cauliflower, cabbage, kale, as well as grapes, and lettuce rose in price anywhere from 17 to 62 cents depending on the product.
It’s not all bad news, we can look at some silver linings while we wait on the clouds to come back and rehydrate our fields. Texas shares a similar palette on many in-demand produce products with California and has seen a recent increase in exports of avocados to pick up the slack left behind.
According to data from the USDA [data.ers.usda.gov] website, avocado demand grew from 155,379 ($1000’s) in December 2020 to 231,835 in Jan 2021 and 315,128 by March of the same year. Many times, when we see a lack of a commodity in one area, we’ll look to grow it somewhere else, or import it.
Texas has the perfect climate for avocados, and also controls some of the main border entries for Mexico, which exports billions of dollars worth of avocados [agmrc.org] every year to us. This new entry point/origin for produce shifts the freight market as well to create demand for trucks in Texas while decreasing the demand in California.
To sum things up, when it starts to “Never rain in [Southern] California” we see the whole nation shift their focuses on backups, imports, and inevitably higher costs. So be sure to avoca-do yourself a favor and pick up some delicious guacamole ingredients while we wait out this drought and get produce to your state from wherever its’ freshest!
Iyer Amruthur is a business development specialist in the Allen Lund Company, San Antonio office and has two years of logistics experience. Iyer attended The University of Georgia where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, with a minor in Communications.