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Sustainability in mezcal

The realities of climate change and the economic impact of Covid-19 have made the topic of sustainability even more important. But what exactly does sustainability even mean for the mezcal industry? Over the years we have written about the topic of sustainability but we thought it would be a good idea to put them all in one place for easy reference. While some of these pieces date back to 2013, they are no less relevant or dated. The same issues remain and in fact are of even greater concern given the demand for mezcal around the world.

From agave cultivation to waste by-products, to the impact on natural resources and the economics for the communities that make mezcal, the question of how to be sustainable is one that needs to be answered. We are looking forward to diving deeper into the topics we have explored in the past to really understand the current impact of mezcal production on the environment, economy and people.

For a complete list of Mezcalistas’ articles that reference sustainability, check here.

Also too, some recommended books on the topic of sustainability:

Drawdown by Paul Hawken

Earth Democracy by Vandana Shiva

The Third Plate by Dan Barber

Cannibals with Forks by John Elkington

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond

The Top 50 Books on Sustainability by Wayne Visser

Susan Coss is the Co-founder of Mezcalistas. She is a long time business, marketing and communications strategist in the sustainable food and beverage worlds. Over the past 15 years, Susan's work has focused on promoting the connection between land, farmers and food and beverage crafters.


  • Ted McKean
    February 25, 2021

    If you are interested in true sustainability in a vertically integrated mezcal company (one which, itself, plants, harvests, roasts, mills, ferments, distills, bottles and then sells its mezcal worldwide), you might want to contact Sam Santrelli, CEO, El Tinieblo International, Inc. [sam@eltinieblo.com.] El Tinieblo is produced in Tamaulipas, on a 9000 acre ranch. The company has an extensive nursery, and is currently planting 25 agave for every one taken to harvest. Many different types of agave are currently being planted so ensembles of many combinations will be being produced in the future. Currently, many improvements and additions to the palenque are in process as exploding demand for agave is anticipated.


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