Without a doubt, the Super Bowl has become a national holiday in the United States. Its popularity has made it the most anticipated sporting event of the year and its fame has been extended beyond its borders. Added to that, the figures that surround the event also make it one of the most expensive events in the United States. In 2017, 418 million dollars were generated in advertising; companies came to pay up to 5 million dollars for 30 seconds of airtime during the event, not to mention the production costs of the commercial itself.
On the other hand, beyond the sporting field, the Super Bowl is one of the most anticipated events for Mexican avocado producers. During the game, Americans consume more avocado than any other day of the year; According to figures from ProMéxico, 15 days before the game, about 40,000 tons of avocado are exported. During the week of the Super Bowl , consumption reaches about 100,000 tons, which corresponds-roughly-to about 290 million pieces.
By virtue of these figures, the importance of the Super Bowl for Mexican avocado producers is clear . In 2017 alone, Mexico consolidated its position as the world’s leading avocado producer with nearly 2,000,000 tons of the product. According to SAGARPA statistics, the United States is the main market for Mexican avocados; reaching purchases of up to 85% of national production.
The US market has become so important to avocado growers that in 2013 the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association (MHAIA) and the Association of Producers and Packers of Mexico (APEAM) founded “Avocados From Mexico”. This non-profit organization is responsible for promoting the consumption of Mexican avocado around the world and coordinating marketing activities to broadcast commercials during the Super Bowl .
However, the economic spillover generated by the Super Bowl to the Mexican avocado industry was about to be lost. At the beginning of the year, the plan of the current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was launched to combat fuel theft, the so-called ‘huachicoleros’. The strategy was to close the valves of some of the 13 oil pipelines of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) to prevent bands of fuel thieves from extracting gasoline from the pipelines. The foregoing caused the interruption of the supply of gasoline throughout the national territory, including the state of Michoacán. The origin of this crisis was not the lack of fuel but the lack of logistics to distribute it in the affected states.
The Ministry of Economic Development of Michoacán estimated projections for losses exceeding five billion pesos. The fuel shortage caused uncertainty in the ability to meet delivery dates avocado supply shortages, low productivity and absenteeism.
However, the APEAM, on its website, announced that land transportation of shipments of avocado to the US. UU They have been done normally. The association highlighted that the trucks that transport the avocado use diesel as fuel, which has not suffered from shortages; however, there is concern if the situation of fuel shortages worsens. As noted, complications have been found to move the crops from the orchards to the packing houses, since this equipment does use gasoline as fuel.
It seems that this time, the avocado industry is avoiding falling into a million-dollar crisis. However, we can not lose sight of the fact that on many occasions the political risks are very complicated to foresee. The decisions of actors in the government can lead to companies of all kinds falling into crisis, even entire sectors. The affectation caused by the slow replenishment of fuel continues being an alert on the complications that the national productive sector can face with the decisions – not consulted with the businessmen – of the so-called fourth transformation.
However, crises always represent an opportunity to learn and improve. The avocado industry has the opportunity to rethink its distribution and export strategies to be better prepared before scenarios such as the one already lived.
Riesgos Políticos, SC, can support that your company is better prepared in the face of crises caused by political decisions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .