Study Reveals How Climate Change Could Impact Avocado Farming

New research conducted by Zurich University and reported by Food Dive shows that climate change may fundamentally impact the way avocados are grown. The study, which projects the agricultural future of these fruits, found that by the year 2050, avocado production will look vastly different than how it looks today.

Climate change is touching nearly every aspect of the Earth, so it's not surprising avocados are feeling the effect. Still, it begs the question: How? And maybe more importantly: is there anything to be done about it?

Demand for avocado has only grown in the past few years. Beloved for both its delicious taste and nutritional benefits, dishes like avocado toast and BLATs have ushered in a new era for the round green fruit. Avocado's anti-inflammatory properties (via VeryWell Health), among other benefits, are part of the reason market advisory and intelligence firm Mordor Intelligence predicted demand for the fruit would have a 6% annual compounded growth rate until 2026.

So, does the increased popularity of avocados have something to do with their impact on the environment? Not quite.

Climate change is impacting the soil where avocados are grown

Avocado's demand doesn't play much into this equation. Instead, it has more to do with location. In short, climate change is impacting the soil where avocados are grown, like the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and Peru. The Swiss university's research, which was published in the journal Plos One, shows that in 28 years, these areas will be less suitable for avocado growth. However, there's still plenty of research to be done that explains exactly how this will happen.

This doesn't mean that avocados will simply stop existing in 2050, but people — especially farmers — should expect the need to pivot. The researchers suggest growing the crops in locations with higher altitudes and focusing on adaptations like breeding plant varieties that can live more easily amidst rising temperatures and frequent droughts.

If you're a fan of avocados, you may be wondering what we as consumers can do to help. While the Zurich research didn't specifically touch on this, some chefs are encouraging people to reduce their avocado consumption because they don't see a sustainable way of keeping up with current demand for the fruit. Will you really have to cut down on your daily avocado toast? Only time will tell.