A Case Study of Santanera Destileria & Cerveceria
Mexico has quite an impressive recognition for being the country that holds the intellectual property rights for tequila. But the exponential popularity of the drink has put agave plantations in the country under immense stress, as farmers try to meet the growing market demand. Agave, the plant from which tequila is made, has an extremely long agricultural cycle that takes between six and nine years to complete. As the supply struggles to catch up to the demand, Mexico saw a worsening shortage of the raw material needed to make tequila. The Washington Post in 2018 reported that agave prices had increased six-fold in just between 2016-2018. In correlation, 15,000 plants were estimated to be stolen in 2017 alone. Today, the price is at the highest point in history ($1.50 USD per kilo as opposed to $0.25 cents in 2013). More than ever, this is the time to level up security on the plantations.
That is what drove Pablo Lara, the owner of the first Agave brand in the world, Santanera, to find a solution to protect his plantations from thieves.
The earlier strategy to visit the site often was becoming tedious as Lara had to oversee 50 hectares of agave planted in 13 different areas, all far away from each other. He went online to look for solar-powered cameras with a cellular chip as the organic agave plantations were in remote areas. This search led him to the VOSKER cameras. Cameras like the V150 were made especially for cases like these, where setting up a Wi-Fi connection was impossible, and a continuous supply of power was unreliable. The camera sustains itself for an amazingly extended period of time thanks to its in-built solar panels that work very well in open sites such as the one mentioned here.
To start off, Lara decided to install eight cameras across the territory where the risk was maximum. But the results of this strategy were immediate. The number of thefts came down to zero! The camera worked as an excellent deterrent to keep the robbers away. Lara now plans to install more cameras in the new plantations that are at risk of theft due to the maturity stage. Although he was initially sceptical of investing in a security camera, he is equally surprised and pleased at the result.
Santanera is an enterprise that is close to his heart. It was born out of his deep love for Mexico and a wish to awaken his mother’s side of the Arandense lineage. The independent company revives the organic tequila that the industry stopped producing more than 30 years ago, and has an ambitious goal of benefitting both, the producer and the final customer. But this is not just business for him. Lara believes in honouring the environment that allows him to grow the agave, which is why protecting the plantations from vandalism or theft by miscreants was even more important.
We are honoured and grateful to be part of Santanera’s journey and will continue to help more people protect what they truly cherish.