Jose Luis Tungui Olivo

Don Aguacato

Hi, I’m Jose Luis Tungui Olivo and I grow organic avocado's on the West coast of Mexico. I'm also known as "Don Aguacato". 

As the manager of Hortalizas Organicas I represent a group of 20 small avocado growers in the beautiful area of Michoacán, who joined forces to ensure  that the fruit we grow reaches you in the best possible condition.  Apart from avocados we also grow mango's, grapefruits, green limes, passion fruit and more. Thank you for buying our products!
Michoacán is a Mexican state located on the west coast, bordering the beautiful pacific ocean. Our region is perfect for growing avocados, due to the fertile volcanic soil, the excellent climate and the altitude. The avocado orchards are all between 1500 and 2100 meters above sea level.  It therefore comes as no surprise that people call this region the world capital of the avocado. Our farmers are really in love with their avocado's. We eat them all the time!
Our farm is a real family business. My father started farming organically in 1994 and I joined him two years later. My wife Luisa, my three daughters and one son and their families are all involved with the company one way or another. Thanks to our organic approach, we live a wonderful life in the countryside, amidst an abundance of plant and animal diversity.

 

Interview with Jose Luis Olivo and his father, Luis Tungüi Espinosa

N&M: What motivated you to convert to organic farming?  
Don Luis: "I used to be a conventional avocado grower but when I realized that the soils in my orchard were dead and I was using more and more chemicals, I knew there was no other alternative.  The chemicals I was using were not only harmful for the beneficial insects and animals but also for the people working in the orchard. With all this use of pesticides and herbicides, the agricultural schools are mainly teaching their students how to kill..."

N&M: How do you look back upon your organic adventures?
Don Luis: It was very tough in the first years. In year 1, although certified organic, we were unable to sell a single avocado as “organic”. The following season we sold our fruit to various brokers but we never received any payment. It is then that we decided to form an association with a group of organic growers and work closely together. 

N&M: What is the role of the association ?
Don Jose: When we set it up, we decided on a few important goals. We wanted to grow healthy products, free from any pesticides, while taking care of our ecological surroundings. We wanted to preserve biodiversity and ecosystems, instead of working against them. We aim to recover, preserve and improve fertility of the soil. We wanted to eliminate any risk to workers' health. And last but not least, we commercialize together, in order to obtain a fair price, and provide for our families.

N&M: What are the reactions from consumers?
Don Jose: The reactions are very positive. But that is not very surprising since we grow organic Hass avocadoes which are the creamiest, most delicious variety in the world.

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