Agave Waste Is Good Business, Says Agave 100By Eliza Galeana | Wed, 09/14/2022 - 18:39
Tequila and mezcal are among the most consumed alcoholic beverages in the world. According to Mexico’s Ministry of Agriculture, exports of tequila and mezcal represented a value of US$1.14 billion in the first five months of 2021, making it the country’s third-most demanded food product abroad, trailing only behind the ubiquitous beer and avocado. These iconic beverages are distilled from agave, but only 5 percent of the plant is used while the rest is thrown away. Repurposing this waste could therefore be a profitable business.
Under this premise, Agave 100 was born as a sustainable business developer that seeks to promote innovative startups working to reutilize agave waste to generate income, reduce the environmental impact of the alcohol production chain and create local jobs. "We are used to linear consumption models in which we solely use and discard. The aim of Agave 100 is to promote reuse while we can generate value at the same time," said Roberto Sanchez, CEO, Agave 100.
Todo Pellet, a company dedicated to the production of agave bagasse pellets is among the startups supported by Agave 100. It has several proposals, including pellets for meat smokers and a pet substrate called K-mita. What is more, the company offers Pellet Energía, which has the potential to replace diesel and fuel in the industrial sector. Nonetheless, since companies are used to fossil fuels, they are reluctant to switch to pellets. This is a major barrier for the business to overcome, said Alejandro Méndez, Co-founder and CEO, Todo Pellet.
Furthermore, Agave 100 formed alliances with other projects such as Forraje Agave, a product created for use in processing plants, as well as Berries and more, an innovation that enables farmers to plant berries next to agave plants, enabling them to generate an alternative cash flow because agaves need to grow for at least 5 years.
The goal of Agave 100 is to become a venture capital fund to finance a slew of projects related to the reuse of agave waste. It is currently inviting investors to contribute an amount of MX$500,000 (US$25,000), either individually or as a group. The value of each of the shares is MX$1 (US$.05) and the investment term is 6 years with an estimated return of 2.23 times the initial investment. Sanchez wants investors to take on an active role inside the company. “It is venture capital, everyone asks me if it is safe so they can gain their money back, and the answer is no. That is why we invite you not only to invest but to actively participate,” stated the CEO, as he pointed toward the inherent risk of venture capital.
"In the worst-case scenario, we will achieve the minimum acceptable performance while still working inside the agave waste industry. We want to reach full use of the agave plant throughout its production process, from planting to marketing. Join us, let us solve this pollution problem while fostering business," added Sánchez.