ICE raids, election referenced in Oakland pub's avocado price increase explanation

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Avocado prices are up and some Californians think it's the pits.

"Safeway they're always like practically $3 for an avocado," Oakland resident Richard James said.

James was stocking up on avocados at Yasai Market in Berkeley. The store's owner said they've had to increase prices from $1 per avocado to $4 for two. She said the demand is high.

"They're good for everything," James said.

Bloomberg is reporting that border tensions between the U.S. and Mexico and rising trade have caused the avocado market to surge the most this year than it has in the last decade. Climate and a smaller California crop hasn't helped either.

Customers at The Golden Squirrel will find a letter pinned to the top of their menus explaining the extra charge for avocados.

It reads, "$1 Avocado charge. Avocado prices are skyrocketing for many reasons. The price of California avocados and other produce has gone up nearly 300% in the last month. Labor to pick, clean, box and ship is increasingly more expensive for the California crops, along with the threats of ICE raids. Mexican avocados have also nearly tripled, mostly because of political uncertainties of tariffs and border closings. Due to these issues, we are charging $1 more for all our dishes that contain avocado. We hope the price comes down very soon, but at the very latest by November 3, 2020."

Co-owner Andrew Snow said, "All of these issues are complicated. Different people have different opinions on it. It trickles down to your favorite salad, tater tot, nachos. Avocado prices have gone up almost three times as much as they were a couple months ago. So, trying to run a small business, you have to adjust prices accordingly."

Snow plans to keep selling Californians' unofficial food mascot, at least for now. Customers do have the option to not include avocados with their meals.

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