The Initiative by APEAM to Rehabilitate the Forests of Michoacán

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Since 2011, the APEAM reforestation program has planted more than 2.2 million trees in Michoacán, Mexico, helping to mitigate the effects of unsustainable logging practices and restoring the area’s natural ecosystems and biodiversity.

Over the last two decades, the natural ecology within the Mexican state of Michoacán has fallen under the threat of deforestation. As neighbors of this threatened ecosystem and as stewards of the environment, the Association of Avocado Exporting Producers and Packers of Mexico (APEAM) has shouldered the responsibility of giving back to the land and preserving the ecological treasures that characterize the region.

Reforestation Initiative

In 2011, APEAM launched a reforestation initiative to mitigate the negative effects of unsustainable and illegal logging and to protect the diverse ecosystems existing within Michoacán. Over the last decade, APEAM has sown more than 2.2 million plants in an area larger than 3,550 American football fields. The program boasts an impressively high plant survival rate of 85%.

To ensure this high survival rate, saplings are cultivated in nurseries before finding their home in the wild, where they are selectively planted with elevation and location in mind. The trees planted are a variety of different species native to the area, allowing the program to encourage and preserve the vast biodiversity found in Michoacán forests.

The plants sown by APEAM enjoy an impressive 85% survival rate.

The Vanguard of Responsibility

APEAM has also made strides against deforestation by calling for stricter enforcement of penalties for those caught illegally clearing forests. Working with the Mexican government to more closely regulate logging, the association has been able to discourage and slow the decimation of Michoacán forests. By taking a legal stand while also restoring more than 3,550 acres to date, APEAM has gained back precious ground in safeguarding the beauty and integrity of the area’s natural environment.

Steeped in a philosophy of good stewardship, APEAM has recognized that fostering natural habitat goes hand in hand with maintaining sustainable farming. Caring for the environment surrounding avocado farmland will have a great and lasting effect for the avocado groves themselves. As APEAM works to preserve the forests of Michoacán, the balanced ecosystem will ensure better soil and air quality, less erosion, and a healthier, stabler water table.

For Our Bountiful Future

Though there is still plenty of work to be done, APEAM’s green thumb is committed to the task, and continues to expand its reach. In 2011, the initiative’s infant year, APEAM planted 36,100 saplings. Since 2018, however, they have planted 320,000 per year, accounting for nearly 1 million new plants in the past three years alone. But that’s not the end of the endeavor — the association plans to restore another 1.6 million trees to Michoacán by 2025.

The concerted efforts by APEAM have one clear focus: to rejuvenate the land that plants, animals, farmers, their families, and all of us depend on.

APEAM Facts

  • APEAM represents:
    1. 65 packing houses
    2. 29,000 growers
    3. 42,000 avocado orchards
    4. 338,500 acres of land
    5. 39 municipalities of Michoacán
  • APEAM’s mission is to provide consumers with a top-quality product in terms of flavor, food safety, traceability, efficiency, transparency, and sustainability.
  • They are the only organization in Mexico cleared to export avocados to the U.S.
  • APEAM has created 78,000 direct and permanent jobs in Michoacán.
  • The economic opportunities created by the avocado industry have helped to drastically cut the amount undocumented emigration from Michoacán to the U.S.
  • In partnership with the Lazos Foundation, APEAM has invested nearly $2.75 million in 23 schools in Michoacán.
  • APEAM has reforested approximately 3,550 acres of Michoacán since 2011.
  • The organization’s reforestation program has planted more than 2.2 million plants.
  • The board of directors consists of 10 members, with equal representation between growers and packers.
  • APEAM works closely with food safety organizations like the USDA and SADER.

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