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Tag: Are avocados an unsustainable commodity

is avocado farming sustainable

is avocado farming sustainable插图

One of the most sustainablefruits on the market According to a study by The Environmental Working Group (EWG), avocados are one of the products with the lowest levels of pesticides worldwide Avocado farmers are committed to the environment.

Is avocado farming bad for the environment?

When looking at the facts, the answer appears easy: avocado farming is causing deforestation, endangering wildlife, funding drug cartels, and contributing to water crisis in many regions of the Global South, where it’s mostly produced.

Are avocados an unsustainable commodity?

Like so many monocultures before it, the avocado’s popularity has led it to become an unsustainable commodity.

Why are farmers razing pine forests to plant avocado trees?

In Michoacn, Mexico, the biggest avocado producing region in the world, farmers are illegally razing pine forests in order to plant lucrative avocado trees. The native pine trees make up an irreplaceable habitat to indigenous species, including the iconic monarch butterfly.

Where do avocados grow in the world?

For Spain, California and other avocado’s producer, the green fruit is a seasonal one. Mexico’s climate, and in particular Michoacn volcanic soil, make it the only place in the world, where this plant is able to grow all year around.

What is the impact of avocados on the economy?

The economic opportunities and cultural impact of the avocado industry has led to a dramatic cut in undocumented emigration from Michoacán and provided thousands of families with the opportunity to make a living in their country of origin.

How much of Mexico’s avocados are irrigated?

Together, 97% of avocado orchards in the region depend primarily on sustainable irrigation practices, leaving only 3% of the orchards that use rolling irrigation at all — a significant contrast with the 70% average in other agricultural areas of Mexico.

How does sustainable farming help the ecosystem?

Sustainable farming consists of preserving the forests of the region, which in turn secure better soil and air quality, less erosion, and cleaner water for all the inhabitants of Michoacán.

How high do avocados grow?

Avocados grow in altitudes between 2,000 and 10,000 feet. In Michoacán, orchards are placed at varying elevations that form many different microclimates. This supports a constant cycle of four blooms which secure a steady harvest in every season.

What is the best soil for avocados?

Meanwhile, the area’s rich, volcanic soil provides nutrients to the avocado trees and surrounding forests — it acts as a natural fertilizer, reducing the need for using agrochemicals in the orchards. In turn, the trees and forests provide stable and predictable temperatures, trapping moisture that reduces soil erosion. The innate harmony between Michoacán’s soil and trees act to maintain the perfect, natural temperature for avocado growth (between 46 F and 86 F) while supporting the biodiversity of the area.

Is avocado a green agenda?

While this sustainable agenda is ambitious, it’s fundamental for the success of the industry and the prosperity of the world. The Green Agenda is a technical and diagnostic report in progress.

Is avocado fringe a water source?

The preservation of water is a top priority for APEAM — the literal source of life, water is a vital and irreplaceable part of agriculture. With heavy rainfalls over a six-month wet season, the avocado fringe in Michoacán is one of the most extensive water-generating reservoirs in Mexico. The abundant natural rainfall in Michoacán feeds the two main rivers within the state, and much of it permeates the soil. Under the shade of the avocado groves and surrounding forests, this moisture is retained and evaporation is minimal, preventing erosion.

What is the avocado called in Mexico?

The situation is such that the avocado, long called “green gold” by the locals, is now referred to as “blood guacamole.” Meanwhile, the chemicals and toxins from avocado orchards cause respiratory and stomach problems in local residents.

Why are avocado trees cut down?

Even more trees are cut down to make crates to transport the avocados, further exacerbating water shortage and destroying carbon sinks.

How much water does it take to grow an avocado?

The native pine trees make up an irreplaceable habitat to indigenous species, including the iconic monarch butterfly. Astonishingly, it takes up to 1,000 liters of water to grow just 1 kg of avocados –roughly 3 avocados. (By contrast, 1 kg of broccoli only uses around 45 liters of water .)

What is the name of the avocado that is a blood guacamole?

The situation is such that the avocado, long called “green gold” by the locals, is now referred to as “blood guacamole.”. Meanwhile, the chemicals and toxins from avocado orchards cause respiratory and stomach problems in local residents. And that’s just in Mexico.

Why is avocado farming bad?

The short answer is that avocado farming is causing deforestation, destroying ecosystems, funding drug cartels, and contributing to climate change. In Michoacán, Mexico, the biggest avocado producing region in the world, farmers are illegally razing pine forests in order to plant lucrative avocado trees. The native pine trees make up an irreplaceable habitat to indigenous species, including the iconic monarch butterfly.

Do avocado orchards need water licenses?

Those who pay the most can obtain water licenses, even for life , regardless of the consequences for the ecosystem or for the community. So while local populations survive on trucked-in water, tens of thousands of acres of avocado orchards are watered with manmade reservoirs.

Who is Francesca Willow?

Francesca Willow is a Geordie writer and artist based in Cornwall/London. She believes the best way to see change happen is through consumer choice, intersectional collective action, and policy change.

What certifications do avocados come in?

Once our avocados are ready for packing, many of the boxes we use come from suppliers who hold certifications from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), all of which promote and ensure responsibly and sustainably managed forests.

How do avocado trees become sustainable?

Beginning in the field, we keep our avocado trees as sustainable as possible by meticulously caring for our environment and remaining conscious of our water usage and pollution levels.

How much has avocado decreased emissions?

This past year, we reduced the need for recharges of our refrigeration systems. This contributed to a 16% decrease in emissions from owned sources within our avocado operations from 2019 to 2020.

How many avocados will be shipped in 2020?

Our avocados are currently being shipped in a redesigned pallet configuration–one that can hold 10% more cases of avocados. In 2020, this allowed 25 million avocados to be transported more efficiently and resulted in the removal of 285 over-the-road trucks from our supply chain.

What are some biodiverse farming practices?

Biodiverse farming practices, such as beekeeping, support the natural plant and animal ecosystems in our fields.

Is avocado sustainable?

Once the avocados reach the store or restaurant, consumers can rest assured that our avocados have taken one of the most sustainable journeys an avocado can take. We pride ourselves on providing the finest for our planet, the finest for our product and the finest for our people, in efforts to minimize our global environmental footprint. Because of our efforts, and our people’s passion to grow the absolute best avocados on the planet, our avocados become more and more sustainable every year.

What does a dendrometer read?

Dendrometers read the swelling and contracting of the tree, so we can determine the stress levels to grow healthier trees.

Where to buy ethical avocados?

Many local farmers interested in cleaning this worldwide market of organized crime, started to create a network of legal and ethical avocado farming as the PREGOR collective, to get their products certified from Fairtrade and Equal Exchange mark and answer the worldwide demand in a legal and productive way, with transparent production that doesn’t start from illegal deforestation but uses land already employed for agriculture. There is long way up for farmers in transforming agriculture in a sustainable enterprise: this would mean using newest technologies to avoid waste of water and pesticides, dangerous for humans and other living species.

How much water does an avocado need?

According to Water Footprint Network, it takes around 227 liters of water to make 1 avocado, whereas one tomato requires 12,5 liters or one head of broccoli 20liters. The avocado tree is thirsty and very slow when it comes to give its first fruits. In a wet and rainy region of the world, this wouldn’t be as problematic as for Mexico, California or Chile where droughts are a yearly reality. In Michoacán a full grown avocado orchard requires double water than the originally pine forest, and because of this high need of irrigation, it stops the water flow otherwise designated to local wildlife. As a general side effect of deforestation for agricultural use: CO2 emissions rise, and they keep doing so as the avocado production is ready and shipped all over the world to its end consumers. All this intensifies our current climate crisis.

What would happen if Mexico didn’t have avocados?

Without Avocado production, Mexico would hardly shake its violence problems. Drug cartels fight over control and seek the most lucrative market to do so: if it’s not avocado, could be something worst? To stop buying drugs that comes from regions under cartels control, would definitely be a more effective boycott against drug violence and killing than boycotting guacamole on a Saturday night. Mexican local farmers discovered a dignifying way of earning their living and supporting their family through the avocado industry, without having to flee the country or having to join the armed cartels when fighting poverty. Boycotting this market on a global scale, could have unpredictable local reactions.

Where are avocados grown?

Mexico is the absolute number one producer of avocado in the world, with its 2 million tonnes of avocados produced annually, it more than doubles the second world producer: the Dominican Republic; in 2017 it produced alone around 40% of global avocado supply. Locally, the green fruit has been known as “Oro Verde” (green gold) but in recent years, in the Michoacán region, the Mexican state that produces around 80% of the avocados in the country, it also became popular as “Diamante de sangre” (blood diamant). In the last 20 years Avocado consumption raised more than 300% to an export industry of 2.3 billion dollars. Such a lucrative industry didn’t leave the Mexican drug cartels indifferent. As today, various drug cartels are fighting over the regional control of the attractive avocado farming and market, with enorm costs in terms of lost lives and money: victims are farmers and other local actors, who are forced to pay percentage based on the size of their land propriety for protection, or loose trucks of harvested avocados ready to export to the armed cartels.

Is avocado better than beff?

As Tom Cumberlege, Associate Director of Carbon Trust, also explains : if we look at the environmental side of thing, avocado would still be a better choice on our plates than beff, eggs or unseasonal food: for both water consumption and CO2 emission. If you are going to buy local strawberry in December in the UK, than buy a Mexican avocado whose CO2 emissions would still be fewer than what it takes to make summer in winter. For your summer avocado cravings, try to keep it local: in Europe, for example, Spain is a big producer. When buying imported food, try to buy only certified products, even if for a dollar more.

Is avocado a superfood?

and adopted globally, that made of the Avocado the ultimate superfood of our time.

Is avocado sustainable?

How Sustainable is eating Avocado? The avocado fruit,often mistaken for a vegetable, has become one of the most beloved food of the 2010s outside its original areas. In the U.S., Europe, China and countless other Asian countries, Millenials hardly survive a Sunday brunch without sharing on their Instagram stories the incredibly photogenic creamy …

Why avocados?

According to Medical News Today, avocados can improve digestion, lower bad cholesterol, and even decrease the risk of depression.

What is the environmental impact of avocados?

Unfortunately, the avocado’s popularity almost guarantees that it has become something of a monoculture in some places. Like sugar, coffee, palm oil, and corn, avocados are a commodity. That means that large swaths of agricultural land aren’t being used to grow anything but avocados.

Are avocados bad for the environment?

That said, despite avocado’s fairly high environmental footprint from its water use, growing process, and shipping process, the avocado still has a far lower environmental impact than animal products — so swapping your morning eggs for avocado toast is a positive choice for the planet.

How many flowers do avocados produce?

According to Love One Today, every avocado’s life begins with pollination. Mature avocado trees can produce a million flowers in each bloom, but only about 150 to 500 of those pollinated blossoms will become fully-grown avocados within the year. As a result, bees play a key role in the avocado growing process.

How are avocados picked?

Once the avocados have matured, they are picked carefully by hand to avoid any unnecessary bruising. From there, the shipping process is quick and cold. Avocados ripen in warmer temperatures, so they begin the packing process in pools of cold water. This ensures that the avocados are washed and that their temperature is low enough to travel. The avocados are packed in boxes and loaded into refrigerated trucks. Most avocados arrive at their final destination between two and four days later.

What are the causes of deforestation?

Deforestation also leads to climate change, extinction, and increased amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Removing forests also leads to soil erosion, which can cause flooding, mudslides, and other dangerous conditions.

What is the biggest problem with avocados?

The avocado’s biggest problem is the amount of water it consumes. According to Youmatter, avocado plantations put an incredible degree of pressure on a region’s water supply. The World Economic Forum reports that around 9.5 billion liters of water are used every day in order to grow avocados. For scale, that’s about 3,800 Olympic pools-worth of water.