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Meet the SOPA of the agave world

The Spirit has a quick synopsis and elaboration of the ongoing saga of NOM-186.  We’ll be posting more on this travesty at a later date. In the interim we encourage you to get informed and involved. If there are any budding Weird Al Yankovic types out there how about penning a 187 on NOM-186?

Per everyone’s best estimation NOM-186 is an attempt by the major corporate powers to destroy the world of artisanal distillates in Mexico.  We oppose the law because it would destroy the cultural and economic foundations of many communities as well as our favorite spirit.

Many artisanal distillers learned their craft from fathers and grandfathers as a form of economic and cultural transmission that stretches back generations.  Most of the knowledge involved in artisanal spirits production in Mexico isn’t recorded so if NOM-186 comes into force we’ll lose an incalculable cultural and culinary resource.  It also represents a strong economic force in states like Oaxaca responsible for pulling in tourism and export dollars.  If the state of Mexico really wanted to do something positive in this sphere they’d figure out a way to make it easier to export these products.  That would create a truly sustainable revenue stream.

UPDATE: Per this CNNExpansion article mezcal production in Oaxaca keeps 500 small producers in business which employs 20,000 Mexican families.  Here’s the relevant quote:

En la actualidad, tan sólo en Oaxaca hay más de 500pequeños productores de mezcal que emplean y representan la actividad productiva de 20,000 familias mexicanas. Juan Carlos Segundo, director general del Consejo Mexicano Regulador de la Calidad del Mezcal (Comercam), explica que la producción de este destilado se ha convertido en una fuente de emprendimiento para muchos mexicanos.

“La industria del mezcal se ha convertido en una alternativa de impacto social para zonas apartadas y marginadas, por eso es necesario tener una estrategia de exportación que permita que el mercado de este producto crezca y se consolide”, señala en entrevista con CNNExpansión.


Max co-founded Mezcalistas with Susan way back in 2012. Before that he was a journalist at Salon.com and The San Francisco Chronicle.


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