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NUTRITION

The India story of the dark side of avocado producing industry
Monday, 11 January, 2021, 16 : 00 PM [IST]
Rushabh Parikh
Infants and adults alike, there are many people who love avocados. From everyone's favourite guacamole to avocado on toast, the popular fruit's versatility cannot be stressed enough as it serves as the perfect addition to any recipe.
 
Has anyone ever wondered what goes behind manufacturing the fruit till it finally reaches your plate?

What are 'blood avocados'?
Many British restaurants are ditching the popular avocados over concerns that the imports from Latin America are damaging the environment and funding Mexican drug cartels. Growers in Mexico have had their land seized by drug lords who are reported to be earning £150m a year by selling the so-called "blood avocados".

What are some of the impacts of manufacturing blood avocados on the environment?
From monoculture, deforestation to water shortage, manufacturing avocados unethically results in polluting water bodies, the fertility of soil and repercussions of their plantations in the form of negative impacts on local flora and fauna.

What are some of the ways Black & Green adopts to ensure the safe manufacturing of avocados and strike a balance between soil and produce?
Since we are based out of Africa, there are no cartels involved, hence no killing or violation of human rights.  Also, the biggest way in which we ensure ethical farming is by allowing fair trade practices and not binding our farmers to any agreements. This stops the formation of cartels as farmers are happy. We follow sustainable farming for our avocados by ensuring that the burning of wild forests and other crop plantations is strictly avoided.

How do you maintain high quality standards while leaving a minimum carbon footprint?
Africa by itself has very traditional farming practices and because we pay our farmers a good price for avocado produce, they do not need to erode the soil or do multi-cropping as is prevalent elsewhere. This provides a break to both the land and the farmer thereby ensuring a happy and content farmer who then takes proper care of his land.
 
Black & Green India has a plantation drive which means that for every 10 bottles sold, they plant an avocado tree in Africa.

How do you plan to contribute towards the #VocalForLocal campaign through your manufacturing?
We work with over 500 farmers in India and have been trying to push for the 'Go Local' campaign in terms of Avocados, i.e. grow Hass and other imported varieties in India. India grows 7500 types of Avocado varieties and these are all undocumented. Recently, the Government of India approved a quality and called it TKD1 which is Thankudi 1.

(The author is co-founder of Black & Green)
 
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