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Order the Avo Toast: There's an Avocado Surplus in Australia

In Australia, an oversupply of avocados is mandating that the country both eat and export more of the superfood.

Written by
Calin Van Paris
Published

Millennials receive their fair share of hate. From apathy to indulgence to an inability to thrive in this (inherited and broken) economy, it seems that there's not much that the generation can get right. But those who've suggested that the solution to an entire world's worth of woes is to stop buying avocado toast were proven wrong this week—at least in Australia.

There, an oversupply of avocados is mandating that Australians both eat and export more of the berry (yes, avocados are berries; no, we didn't know either), resulting in what is being called an avo-lanche (no, we did not coin this term; yes, we wish we did).

According to agribusiness bank Rabobank, the surplus—also known as a bumper crop—is born of a wealth of maturing trees, subsequently lowered prices, and an increase in farmers' margins. The result is a 2021/22 crop of 136,686 tons, a number that is estimated to boom to 190,699 by the end of this five-year growth period. So. Many. Avocados. In turn, the price of a single fruit has dropped to less than a dollar.

Fortunately, there are a wealth of ways to enjoy avocados (Butter! Chocolate pudding! In $17 smoothies!) and make use of the pits, helping to ensure that this abundance will be put to good use rather than ending up in the world's landfills. Unfortunately, the environmental impact of avocado farming is steep. Worldwide, avocados have a particularly high carbon footprint—two avocados were found to release 846.36g of CO2 emissions in 2017, and require a significant amount of water to produce.

"So what does this mean for me and this overpriced restaurant guacamole?" you may ask. If you're in the United States, not much—Australia exports primarily to Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and is currently in talks with India and the UK. But should you find yourself in Australia (which this year alone produced around 22 avocados per citizen) the sustainably-minded dictate in this instance is... don't skimp. Order the guac.