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Just this April, an Auckland man reported a mobility scooter-enabled robbery.
Another grower has filed police reports for over $68,000 worth of fruit stolen from his orchard, the New Zealand Herald reports.
High demand has made obtaining the fruit by legal means prohibitively expensive, according to The New York Times.
Most of New Zealand’s avocado growers are geared toward export, which netted the country $71.7m in exports, compared to $30.7m in domestic sales, according to trade group New Zealand Avocado. Imports are limited by the country’s strict bioprotection rules. So local avocado prices are beset by volatile swings depending on global demand and local production. Recently they’ve been trending up, with the per-fruit cost reaching $5.11 per fruit last year.
Growing demand abroad and in New Zealand have driven farmers there to convert over 1,000 hectares of dairy and ranchland into avocado orchards and existing growers have re-invested in improving their orchards.
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