Long term agave supplies ‘endangered’By Annie Hayes
Fears of an agave shortage have grown as Mexico’s National Committee for Agave Production states “volumes do not provide enough for the Tequila industry”.
According to new reports, there will not be enough agave available to meet the needs of Tequila producers in the next few years.
Raúl García Quirarte, chairman of the Committee, told Cronica Jalisco: “Although right now we should be harvesting the agave that was planted in the 2008, 2009 and 2010, the volumes do not provide enough for the Tequila industry.
“At present there is a balance between what the industry is going to consume and what we have in the field, at least in the years 2015, 2016 and 2017, there is enough, but there is not the total of what is required by the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry.”
According to Quirarte, the current annual requirements of the Tequila industry is between 30 and 35 million seedlings, equivalent to 800,000 tonnes of blue agave.
A meeting with the president of the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry will take place in the coming week to address the management of agave through strategic planning, contract farming, the introduction of a base price charged per kilo, and the institutionalisation of the National Agave Award, which honours companies who use small-scale suppliers.
In recent years research has led scientists to tip the robust, drought-resistant agave plant as a cost-effective way of making biofuel to power vehicles.