October 2, 2022

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Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says beer production in north Mexico hit by climate change, drought

2 min read

Mexico, the world’s largest beer exporter, should stop making the drink in the north of the country as the region faces severe water shortages, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday.

Citizens in drought-plagued Monterrey, the country’s industrial heartland where beermakers like Heineken NV have facilities, have suffered from water scarcity for months as dams emptied out. Lopez Obrador said the government will support companies that want to produce beer in the south or southeast.

“This is not to say we won’t produce any more beer, it’s to say that we won’t produce beer in the north—that’s over,” Lopez Obrador said at a daily press conference. “If they want to keep producing beer, increasing production, then all the support for the south or southeast.”

Alongside Heineken, Mexican beer giant Grupo Modelo, controlled by AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, has facilities in the north. Lopez Obrador cited the case of Constellation Brands as an example of what policy for one of Mexico’s main industries should look like. The company had planned a beer plant in the border city of Mexicali, but in 2020 Lopez Obrador ordered that the project be stopped over water issues after a consultation with local citizens.

The company has since said it would build in the southeastern state of Veracruz. However, nine months after that announcement the company still hadn’t built anything on the site, as it still awaits permits, El Financiero newspaper reported last week.

In late July, Heineken offered to give up 20% of the rights it holds to water in Monterrey, and to donate a well, while the city deals with the crisis. Lopez Obrador had earlier called on beer companies to help out.

The companies produce household names in the beer industry. Grupo Modelo owns the Corona, Modelo Especial and Pacifico brands, among others, while Heineken produces the Dos Equis, Tecate and Bohemia brands, among others. Imported beer makes up…

Max de Haldevang, Andrea Navarro, Bloomberg

2022-08-08 15:30:39

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