When my children were in school, there was a program aimed at drug prevention called D.A.R.E. [Drug Abuse Resistance Education]. At this point, we are being dared by the corrupt ‘powers that be’ in Mexico to buy limes at prices tantamount to contraband. Last fall, we all knew the inclement weather hurt the bloom and set cycle for spring limes. The expectation was for a high market comparable to that we have seen in the recent past ($50 at the border).
Growers are now stripping their trees before thieves do it for them. Given that FOBs are quoted well in excess of $100, the harvest is targeted as hijack-worthy cargo. This is creating a circular cycle of little (size and quantity) fruit, high demand, prices that catch the eye of criminals and so on.
Usually a tavern owner would put a 2¢ wedge of lime on a drink. Now that costs him 12¢. The restaurateur who puts 4 or 5 wedges on the $7.95 Mexican combo plate just saw his cost go up by 40¢ or 5% of sales. A busy restaurant could spend an extra $500 buying limes for the weekend trade.
While we love to sell fresh produce, there is a time to be realistic and stop buying, selling and serving limes. With demand stopped, markets would drop, fruit could size up on the trees and life would get back to normal much quicker. Sometimes we have to realize that not every commodity is available every day. $3.00 per pound limes? Just say no!