Inside the bloody cartel war for Mexico’s multibillion-dollar avocado industry

photo-1449339854873-750e6913301b

11/20/19 – Los Angeles Times

By Katie Linthicum

The cartel members showed up in this verdant stretch of western Mexico armed with automatic weapons and chainsaws.

Soon they were cutting timber day and night, the crash of falling trees echoing throughout the virgin forest. When locals protested, explaining that the area was protected from logging, they were held at gunpoint and ordered to keep quiet.

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In Mexico, ‘green gold’ brings both riches and violence

Fruit Hass Avocado Harvest Avocados Picked Green
Fruit Hass Avocado Harvest Avocados Picked Green

10/23/19 – AP News

Mark Stevenson

Small-scale avocado growers armed with AR-15 rifles take turns manning a vigilante checkpoint to guard against thieves and drug cartel extortionists in this town Michoacan state, the heartland of world production of the fruit locals call “green gold.”

The region’s avocado boom, fueled by soaring U.S. consumption, has raised parts of western Mexico out of poverty in just 10 years. But the scent of money has drawn gangs and hyper-violent cartels that have hung bodies from bridges and cowed police forces, and the rising violence is threatening the newfound prosperity. A recent U.S. warning that it could withdraw orchard inspectors sent a shiver through the $2.4 billion-a-year export industry.

Rising avocado prices fuelling illegal deforestation in Mexico

08/10/16 The Guardian

avocadoThe popularity of the avocado in the US and rising prices for the “superfood” are fuelling deforestation in central Mexico.

Mexican farmers can make much higher profits growing avocados than from most other crops and so are thinning out pine forests to plant young avocado trees. Once the avocado trees grow, they cut back the forest even more to give them more sunlight.

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Avocados From Mexico hires Weber Shandwick to raise its foodservice profile

07/27/2016 PR Week

avocado.jpgIRVING, TX: Avocados From Mexico has brought on Weber Shandwick as its foodservice advertising and PR AOR.

Weber started working with Avocados From Mexico, the marketing arm of Mexican Haas Avocado Importers Association and the Association of Growers and Packers of Avocados from Mexico, this month after it was selected in April following an RFP process that began in January. Three other firms pitched for the business, including incumbent Ketchum, Porter Novelli, and Sterling-Rice Group.

Weber is responsible for leading a comprehensive communications program to elevate Avocados From Mexico in the eyes of foodservice decision-makers as the only high-quality avocado available 365 days a year. Weber’s integrated campaign will include new advertising, paid media, earned media, social content, thought leadership, and strategic communications, said Susan Howe, president of the firm’s global consumer marketing practice.

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