Avocados become a global commodity: Consequences for landscapes and people

Authors: Audrey Denvir*, University of Texas - Austin
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Latin America
Keywords: commodity chains, Mexico, deforestation
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download

In recent years, there has been a drastic increase in the demand for avocados in the United States and Europe (and more recently in China). Increased profits for growers have led to a large-scale intensification of avocado production in Mexico, especially in the state of Michoacán. The expansion of the avocado industry comes with environmental consequences, including land use change, deforestation and reductions in biodiversity. Moreover, the impact of avocado production on the local economy of Michoacán has been significant and nuanced. Overall, the avocado industry in Mexico is a complex and dynamic subject, influenced by social, political and ecological factors at the local, national and international levels. As local farmers race to meet growing and shifting international demand, risks for negative social and environmental impacts are high. However, a more complete understanding of the avocado commodity chain will help inform policies that encourage intelligent, sustainable expansion of avocado production, to minimize long-term negative impact.

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