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Banhez is the brand owned by a cooperative of producers based primarily in the Ejutla and Miahuatlan municipalities in Oaxaca. The structure of the cooperative has meant steady work and income for the more than 36 family producers that belong to the organization.
The cooperative was founded by Francisco Javier Perez Cruz. In 2004 he was elected president of the National Mezcal Council, and later received federal funding to establish nurseries and reopen distilleries around Ejutla. He founded the Consejo Oaxaqueño del Maguey Mezcal (Oaxaca Mezcal Maguey Council) as a platform for local mezcaleros and members of the industry to organize. His work, inspired by his own family, has changed the tradition of making mezcal into a community, one committed to the quality of their craft, and raising one another other up.
Today, the Banhez Cooperative of farmers and producers, unified by Francisco Javier, form the Unión Productores de Agropecuarios del Distrito de Ejutla de Crespo (UPADEC) and is run by his son, Luis.
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