The avocado is making headlines yet again. This time, Columbia and the US have reached a trade agreement allowing import of the fruit from the South American country stateside. Colombia’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism announced the deal yesterday.
Colombia has reportedly sought this trade agreement for over a decade but the deal was just reached during Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the continent that began Sunday. Along with his meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Pence will also visit leaders in Argentina, Chile and Panama on a five-day tour. According to the White House’s website Pence will “meet with leaders from government and the business community to reaffirm the President’s commitment to deepening bilateral trade and investment ties with the region and continue the Administration's support of security cooperation, business engagement, agriculture, and infrastructure development.” By the sound of that, it seems like there are likely more trade deals to come.
Although the avocado announcement was made, officials have yet to release a clear timeline for when imports will arrive. Avocado imports are a $2 billion industry in the US but until now, Colombia has only exported its supply to Europe. The South American nation’s avocado industry has increased by a whopping $34 million since 2011.
Avocados have been in the news constantly this summer. There was a comforting stabilization in prices after record high surges. They starred in a “grand theft avocado” scandal, in which three men made unauthorized cash sales of the fruit to buyers at a distribution facility. They're complicating trade relations with Mexico and US potato exports, when avocados from Jalisco were halted at the Texas border. Clearly, we care a lot about what this fruit is up to.
If anything, more imports might result in even lower prices, which means more avocado chimichurri to go around.
This story originally appeared on Foodandwine.com.