Avocado craze is blamed for drought in Chile
it has become a staple superfood for the middle classes – but their hunger for avocados is being blamed for a drought in South America.
Villagers in a major producing region of Chile say vast amounts of water are being illegally diverted away from their homes to meet demand.
tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl all source stocks from the Chilean province of Petorca, where rainfall is already scarce.
Private plantations are accused of installing illegal pipes and wells to divert water from rivers to irrigate their crops.
But locals in the arid region say ‘life is becoming unbearable’ as a water shortage forces them to use contaminated water delivered by truck. Activist Veronica Vilches said: ‘Here there are more avocados than people, but only people are lacking water, never the avocados.’
the British Retail Consortium, which represents supermarkets, said stores were helping to investigate the allegations. Around 2,000 litres of water are needed to produce one kilo of the fruit.
Demand for avocados – popular for its healthy properties – has soared by 27 per cent in the last year and Britain imported more than 17,000 tons from Chile in 2016. Lidl said its stocks are sourced from certified producers.