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    • We had a coffee with Gabriel Villaseñor, APEAM president

    We had a coffee with Gabriel Villaseñor, APEAM president

    02 September 2019Par Ambre Huerre Paitry

    We talk about the global success of the avocado and its benefits with Gabriel Villaseñor, president of APEAM.



    Good morningWe are delighted to be able to talk with you! Can you describe the association’s role and mission in a few words? 


    Absolutely. The Association of Avocado Producers and Exporting Packers of Mexico (Asociación de Productores y Emacadores de Aguacate de México, APEAM AC) is the largest agricultural association in the world! We are specialized in exporting top-quality avocados to international markets.   


    Our main activities include: 

    • Promoting avocado consumption in four primary marketsthe United States, Canada, Japan and Chinaeven though we ship to basically everywhere in the world. 
    • Controlling the production of avocados from the Michoacán region, in close collaboration with the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and in accordance with the strictest regulations and quality standards. 
    • Developing new export markets.  


    L’APEAM in three figures? 


    The association has been growing steadily since it was founded in 1997. Six thousand tons of fruit were shipped during the first season of exports to the United States. Today, nearly a million tons are shipped worldwide.  Initially there were only 61 producers covering an area of 3,704 acres. 



    The organization is currently composed of more than 26,000 producers and 60 packers, representing one of the main powerhouses of our country, with more than 75,000 direct employees and 350,000 indirect ones. 


    What is the DNA of the Avocados From Mexico brand? 


    Primarily our identity, being Mexican! 

    The Mexican people have an age-old culture and our country is a favourite tourist destination of travellers worldwide: one that is colourful, fun, bold and carefree! It’s never-ending celebration of family and friends, an element that unites us. Its therefore an invitation to share laughs, experiences and delicious and vibrant food and to embrace all of life’s great moments. You will find all of this in our brand and our communications. 


    In your opinion, what is behind avocado’s global success in recent years? 



    The essential point is that the avocados is a fruit which qualities are recognized by international authorities. The avocados are undeniable healthy with nutritional benefits, they have an unequalled flavor (creamy and tasty) which  complements recipes. Thanks to their freshness, they are a pleasant product to have all year around.  


    The essential point is that the avocados is a fruit that has benefits recognized by international authorities. The avocados are undeniable healthy with nutritional benefits, they have an unequalled flavor (creamy and tasty) which permit to complement recipes and their freshness make a pleasant product to have all year around.  


    More specifically for Avocados From Mexico, we are offering domestic and international markets a top-quality product in terms of flavour, safety and traceabilityone that is produced in an efficient and sustainable manner 

    Our valuesincluding transparency, professionalism, respect, excellence and fidelity, have turned Avocados From Mexico into a trusted industry. 

    Our other big advantage, beyond flavour and quality, is the year-round availability of the fruit, as in our slogan: “Always in Season.” Mexico is the only country of production with four annual harvests, and the Michoacán region in particular, boasts volcanic soils that naturally filter water. 

    On top of this, we have developed a strategy to strongly promote avocados in strategic markets and educate consumers about the benefits of the product. For example, in Canada and in the US we communicate by highlighting healthy and energetic eating, while in Japan we focus more on health and beauty messages. 

    We currently have more than 80% market share in the United States and more than 90% in Japan and Canada. 


    How do you ensure the nutritional value of the avocados and health security? 


    We work in partnership with the agricultural and health authorities of our country (Secretaría de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural, SADER) and the countries to which we export (mainly the USDA) to be in proper compliance with the phytosanitary, safety and certification measures) and to ensure that the best avocados are exported to international markets. 


    Additionally, in Canada and Japan, we collaborate with local partners such as the Dietitians of Canada and leading Japanese nutritionists. 



    How are the communication strategies adapted to each target market? 


    The AFM marketing strategy is adapted to each market. We want to integrate avocados into consumption patterns, meals and habits. 

    In Japan, the strategy is to communicate the nutritional benefits of the fruit during moments of social interaction like the Hanami. In Canada, the strategy is focused on increasing the frequency of consumption by capitalizing on the health benefits and versatility of the fruit. It can be used in different recipes and at any moment of the day. In China, the goal is to develop visibility and educate consumers through digital channels like Alibaba or 

    In the United States, our main export market, we are seeking to develop personalized strategies and tactics to address our audiences: consumers in general, Hispanic consumers, food services and retail. 


    What challenges does APEAM currently face? 


    Our day-to-day and future challenges are the following ones: 

    • Delivering to consumers a message that is faithful to our DNA.
    • Contributing to the protection, conservation, recovery and restoration of our natural resources through initiatives like our partnership with the National Forestry School of Uruapan (Escuela Nacional Forestal de Uruapan) 
    • Inspiring more and more consumers to enjoy Avocados From Mexico more often 


    Can you recommend a back-to-school recipe?  

    I like a good salad with shrimps, avocado, basil and fresh parsley. You’ll find this recipe on our website. We have a whole section dedicated to recipesthat you can consult! 


    Anything else you would like to add? 


    Above all, thank you for the interview. It is truly a pleasure to have you here; Sopexa is certainly one of our main allies in successfully managing Avocados From Mexico campaigns in international markets. I wish to congratulate you on your excellent work and I look forward to seeing you soon for new projects!