Guadalajara, Jalisco. Despite the barriers they have had to face due to gender, there are more and more women in the alcoholic beverage sector in Mexico, running their own company or in one of the links in the production chain.
Whether in the plantation of agaves, in the jima, in the production process, packaging, or in the marketing and export of beverages, more and more women participate who, in order to make themselves visible and face the obstacles that a business now dominated by men, they decided to join the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Agave and Mezcal.
The organization is currently made up of 380 women from 19 states of the Republic in which there is a presence of alcoholic beverages with Denomination of Origin. Thus, the members of Jalisco they participate in the production of Tequila and Raicilla; in Oaxaca, Zacatecas, Durango, Guerrero, Michoacán, San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas produce Mezcal; In Sonora the Bacanora and in Chihuahua the Sotol.
“We are a group of businesswomen, warriors, who are involved in the entire production chain, from the planting of our agaves, our magueyes, to marketing, national sales and export,” she told The Economist, the vice president of the association, Jalisco chapter, Laura Jiménez.
“We are trying to have more visibility, in addition to teaming up to have more strength and create business links in this competitive world that is purely for men,” stressed the also owner of Bonanza tequila.
“There is a lot of machismo, there are misogynistic people in this environment and not only in Mexico but throughout the world. I have gone on business tours to Moscow, Shanghai, and Tokyo, and they are countries where women have to bend down to hand over our business card,” said the businesswoman from Jalisco.
“We continue to face that gender barrier in which they continue to pigeonhole us, they consider us as not having the capacity, or the courage to exercise our professions. The association helps us to have a presence on business platforms, on business and political platforms”, he stressed.
For her part, Beatriz Valenzo Campos, president of the chapter Guerrero of the association, shared that the first town in that state that accepted the association as an organization made up of women was Coaxtlahuacan, where they made a mezcal made with the collective brand “Women”, which won the silver medal at the Spirits Selection Bruxelles international competition in 2020.
After receiving the support of the association for the registration of their brand with the IMPI, in 2021 the mezcal women of Coaxtlahuacan participated in the Brussels contest in 2021 and obtained the gold medal with the Infinita Abundancia brand.
“The purpose is to get our products marketed and pay a fair price for them,” said the president of the Guerrero chapter of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Agave and Mezcal, which represents 24 brands of mezcal, 15 of which have been awarded both in Mexico and abroad.