Jose Armando Lopez Orduña
Association of Producers and Packers Exporters of Avocado of Mexico, Civil Association (APEAM, A.C.)
Expert Contributor

Avocados: Mexico’s Pride

By José Armando Lopez Orduña | Mon, 08/22/2022 - 11:00

If there is a fruit that is fashionable, it is the avocado. There should be few people who can resist its rich flavor, and the versatility of the ways in which it can be prepared gives it prominence in the kitchen, in addition to the fact that it has important nutritional properties and a variety of applications in industries that include cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Due to these benefits, in recent years, July 31 was established as International Avocado Day to celebrate its existence and contributions to different world economies.

Mexico is the world's leading producer of the fruit, according to market analysts such as Statista. Estimates made by the Coordination of Advisers of the Deputy Ministry of Agriculture, avocado production is expected to grow 67.28 percent, with a 109.04 percent increase in exports between 2016 and 2030.

According to Statista, the main avocado exporting countries worldwide in 2021 were, in this order: Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, Chile, the US, Kenya, New Zealand, Germany, the Dominican Republic and China. Currently, more than 60 nations produce avocados. However, about 90 percent of production is generated by just 20 countries that are concentrated in the Latin American and Caribbean regions.

As mentioned before, the largest contribution to the world avocado market is from Mexico and currently, the US receives 84 percent of Mexican exports of the food. The rest reaches 34 countries, among which stand out, in America: Canada, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala; in Asia: Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong and Singapore; and in Europe: Spain, France, Holland, Italy and Germany.

The foregoing is possible thanks to the work of the producers of Michoacan in Mexico, who meet the highest standards of quality, safety, traceability, efficiency in their production and sustainability, which provides economic benefits and prosperity to the communities in which they live, work and grow.

Most of the avocado produced in Mexico comes from Michoacan, and thanks to this, around 400,000 direct and indirect jobs are generated. It is even estimated that the growth of the avocado export industry has had an impact on the decrease in migration, since approximately 100,000 families have found a source of well-paid work in the sector and have chosen to stay in their place of birth.

Immeasurable Value

The avocado export industry is mostly made up of small producers (64 percent have an area of ​​one to 10 crops) and also generates about 30,000 jobs in the US. These workers are part of the Association of Producers and Packers Exporters of Avocado of Mexico (APEAM), a nonprofit civil entity that is made up of more than 30,000 producers and 74 packers in Michoacan, in addition 8,420 crops and 11 packers in Jalisco, and which is the only Mexican Cooperating Partner recognized by the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture (Sader) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The avocado strip of Michoacan is made up of 43 municipalities (out of a total of 113).

The avocado is a tree that belongs to the Lauraceae family and its fruit, besides having a pleasant flavor and smooth texture, has properties that benefit health. Its name comes from the Nahuatl ahuácatl, which means "testicles of the tree" and it has more than 10,000 years of history.

There are about 500 varieties and four main races of the fruit (Mexican, Guatemalan, Antillean and Costa Rican). For example, Mexican plantations generate the main variety: hass, mejorado, criollo and fuerte. Bacon, rincon and zutano also stand out, which were cultivated between the 1950s and 1970s.

Given its characteristics, today this food is one of the most valued in gastronomy worldwide, which has increased its consumption and therefore its demand. In Mexico, the per capita consumption of avocados is 8.1kg. While the US became the world's leading avocado importer in 2021, according to Statista, it was followed by the Netherlands and Spain. In fact, this fruit has become one of the favorite snacks (prepared as guacamole) for fans of sports, such as football. It is estimated that our country exports more than 100,000 tons of avocados during the Super Bowl season.

For all its benefits, Camille May, founder of the American food delivery company Model Meals, began the celebration of this iconic fruit on a special day in 2017. Along with model Danika Brysha, they were inspired by their passion for avocados to create this commemoration date. Let's taste on this special date one of the best gifts that Mexico gives to the world: the avocado.