Human and Environmental Dimensions of Avocado Frontier Expansion

Authors: Audrey Denvir*, University of Texas - Austin, Eugenio Arima, University of Texas at Austin, Antonio Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Kenneth Young, University of Texas at Austin
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Agricultural Geography, Coupled Human and Natural Systems
Keywords: avocado, commodity chains, socioecological systems, deforestation, sustainability
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 21
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


As avocados grow in popularity across the world, social and environmental impacts occur in the landscapes where they are grow. This presentation focuses in on the region with the world's largest production of avocado - Michoacán, Mexico - to synthesize the current state of knowledge about impacts of avocado production. In terms of socioeconomic impact, the avocado boom has coincided with increased employment and decreased out-migration, yet problems of inequity have limited how beneficial the industry is for the region's economy. Moreover, as avocado orchards replace native pine-oak forest, there are numerous impacts on biodiversity, soil and hydrological systems. Research on sustainability (or lack thereof) in other global commodity supply chains can inform recommendations on how to make the avocado market more sustainable.

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