Wheat shortage troubles Tucson tortilla factoriesPosted: Updated:
Tortilla companies in Tucson could be feeling a price increase of flour thanks to massive droughts and wildfires in Russia which is one of the world's largest exporters of wheat.
"This one goes back and forth, goes down conveyor belts pulling the tortillas and getting ready for packaging," says Joel Herrera from Alejandro's Tortilla Factory.
Alejandro's Tortilla Factory is in full operation, it's no surprise when your tortillas are some of the most popular in town.
"In one day we pump out a minimum of 1000 dozens per day. 1200-1300 depending on the order depending on the day of the week," explains Herrera.
And chances are you've eaten some of them, "We currently have about 50-60 restaurants, we also produce the bread for the Sonoran hot dog."
A full service bakery that uses a lot of flour... a lot of flour.
"What we go through the most is the white flour one we use the most."
But soon, thanks to massive problems and wheat shortages in Russia, the price of flour, which is made of wheat and used in all of Alejandro's bread and tortillas, could sky rocket.
"Unfortunately if it effects us it's going to effect the consumer, ultimately it goes down to the consumers," says Herrera.
Consumers like Ciria Hays, "If that goes up, the price goes up that will effect me."
But she'll learn to grin and bare the extra cost.
"What would you do if it goes up, would you still buy it? Oh yes, that's the way we eat."
Alejandro's will still produce their flour tortillas regardless of the shortage, and Joel thinks Americans will still throw down plenty of them.
"We're a tortilla eating country so I think the demand's still gonna be there."
Wheat shortages were a concern during 2007, but American farmers are hoping their wheat supplies will be enough to keep the price pinch to a minimum.