Target: Alvaro Luque, President of Avocados from Mexico
Goal: Stop destroying Mexico’s forests to harvest avocados.
Nearly 1,700 acres of forestland in Mexico are destroyed each year so that avocados can be harvested. The popularity of the avocado in America has led to an increase in its price. The produce has become very lucrative to farmers in Mexico, who can earn more than $500,000 per year from one plot of land that yields only 100 avocados. This has caused some farmers to resort to illegal measures in order to grow the crop: deforesting large patches of land.
This deforestation seriously harms the environment. Deforestation is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas, which directly leads to global warming. More water is also needed to successfully grow the avocados and the crop has a high water retention rate. Twice as much water is needed for avocado plots than is needed for a forest. This takes away water from the other living things within the forest, as well as the streams and other waterways that run through the forest. Mexico is also home to thousands of unique species, including the monarch butterfly,which migrates to the forest. Without any trees, the monarchs cannot rest during the winter months.
Not only are animals negatively impacted, the citizens who live near the forest are also being harmed by the practice of deforestation. The use of agricultural chemicals can negatively affect the health of the residents nearby, while gangs are forcing farmers to share their profits. Those who don’t share the profit from their avocado sales are met with violence.
Avocados are an extremely popular product in America. However, few Americans know the full extent of the environmental damage that occurs simply for a bowl of guacamole from a Mexican restaurant. Avocado companies, like Avocados from Mexico, should take action to ensure that their products are grown in a manner that is both ethical and safe for the environment. This starts by demanding that these companies stop their farmers and producers from destroying forestland for the crop.
Dear Mr. Luque,
Recent reports have highlighted disturbing correlations between deforestation and the rising popularity of avocados. Because the price of avocados is so high, farmers are illegally destroying plots of land in order to grow higher yields of the crop. This is leading to deforestation, an increase in greenhouse gases, a decrease in the forest’s water supply, and the destruction of the vital monarch winter migration habitat. Violent gangs are also seeking to take a profit of the valuable crop’s shares.
As one of the most popular avocado distributors, your company has a responsibility to ensure that your produce is grown ethically and safely, with no environmental harm. I ask you to enact regulations that will ensure your farmers do not destroy land in order to grow your popular produce.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Leon Brooks