We were recently asked if we should eat avocados when they are implicated in destroying Mexican rain forests and this The Conversation article was the result of our investigation. Again explaining trade-offs is never straight forward but it is enabled by developing certifications for sustainable foods that consumers can understand.
Our avocado article currently has over 50k readers and considered relationships between our responses to food trends and a need to deliver sustainability. The ideas put forward in the article go right to the heart of what we deliver by looking at how we utilise foods and how we perceive the values associated with them. If we have this information it guides effective responsible statements that build-in sustainability to foods and brands.
The soft creamy flesh of a ripe avocado makes an attractive and healthy addition to many of our shopping baskets. Smashed, crushed or sliced on toast for a celebrity chef breakfast, it is a fruit which is savoured across the world.
But it seems that avocados may not be as green as they look. And their trendy status may be environmentally unsustainable. Their popularity has led to profitable opportunities for farmers, leading to major environmental concerns about production causing deforestation in Mexico, a nation that produces 30% of the 4.7m tonnes harvested globally.
What was once an exotic ingredient for many now makes regular appearances in culinary (and political) lives.
The European Union imports some 440,000 tonnes of avocados each year. And while the food production industry is keeping up with demand, we rarely stop to consider the environmental impacts of trendy food, distracted as we are by the new experiences and health benefits it delivers.