Let’s Talk About: The Agave Shortage

Why do we keep hearing there is an agave shortage in the tequila industry? Is it true? Well, yes and no. The 3 Amigos Tequila family began as farmers first, and are still farming to this day. We can’t help but hear about the agave shortage and are often asked if this affects us. The simple answer is no. At 3 Amigos Tequila, we grow 100% of our agave and own the land where the agave is grown. However, we do recognize how not owning the farm land could be detrimental to tequila producers. Carlos Camarena, a master distiller of tequila, explains that there is a cycle that comes and goes about every 15 years in the tequila industry. Farmers will plant agave when the price is high in hopes of great profit, however, when so many growers plant at the same time, there is an overabundance of agave, thereby making the price plummet.

When this happens, there is a fair amount of agave on the market, but those farmers that didn’t profit what they were hoping for, then go on to plant other crops that are “easy” to grow, such as corn. It takes 5 to 10 years for agave to grow, so when all those farmers don’t grow the following years, there comes the shortage period. The shortage affects others in ways of quality. Brands that are falling short in production buy agave that may not be up to a set quality. Agave that is purchased may have been grown with chemicals, pesticides, or fertilizers. The brands that need the agave may be purchasing very low-quality agave. 3 Amigos Tequila has been able to consistently provide a high-quality tequila made from the finest blue weber agave, that we actively tend to, ensuring that our customers get the best 100% Blue agave taste.