How ARA Certification Ensures Tequila's Sustainability

Discover the sustainable sip of Mexico! The ARA certification ensures tequila is made from agaves on non-forested land. Learn about this eco-friendly movement and its impact on the tequila industry. Cheers to sustainability!

How ARA Certification Ensures Tequila's Sustainability
Agave plantations thrive on agricultural land, meeting the rigorous standards of the ARA certification for sustainable tequila production. Image by CamiloCote from Pixabay

In a bold move to make the tequila industry more sustainable, the Consejo Regulador del Tequila A.C. (CRT for Tequila Regulatory Council) has shaken things up by proposing a groundbreaking certification: Agave Responsible Environmental (ARA) standards. This agave-inspired initiative aims to ensure that by 2027, all tequila distillate produced will meet these eco-friendly criteria. So, what's the buzz around this new certification, and what does it mean for tequila enthusiasts worldwide? Let's dive into the agave fields and find out.

The ARA certification focuses on validating that the land used for agave production is agricultural and not a deforested area. Carlos López de la Cruz, the head of CRT's Sustainability Projects, has been leading the charge in this green revolution. He revealed that agreements have been inked with the state governments of Jalisco and Guanajuato to ensure that agave producers establish their plantations on agricultural land. Talk about giving Mother Earth a tequila-loving high-five!

To aid growers in making informed decisions, online platforms have been developed to identify whether a property is situated within an agricultural zone. Imagine being able to browse the internet and check the compatibility of a plot of land for your agave plantation. It's like Tinder for tequila farmers—swipe right for agricultural bliss!

López de la Cruz proudly announced that five producers have already obtained the coveted ARA certification, with 667,700 liters of certified tequila already hitting the market. But the party is just getting started! This year, the goal is to identify and market over one million liters of certified tequila. That's enough to fill a swimming pool for the ultimate tequila splash!

The ARA certification initially took root in Jalisco, where the CRT and local authorities established the program in 2021. A handy online map was launched, allowing tequila aficionados to review the compatibility of agave plantation properties at the click of a button. This success was later replicated in Guanajuato, in collaboration with the state authorities. And the good news keeps pouring in—Michoacán is next on the list! The CRT is already working with agave producers in this region to implement the same sustainability scheme. With these impressive advancements, it's estimated that more than 93 percent of agave plantations will be covered under the ARA certification.

But wait, there's more! Nayarit is expected to join the program soon, leaving only a tiny fraction of agave plantations outside the ARA umbrella. López de la Cruz eagerly announced, "With the incorporation of Nayarit, we hope to have agreements with ARA that cover 99.8 percent of the plantations registered nationally." That's right, folks—99.8 percent! The ARA certification is on the verge of becoming a true tequila revolution, sweeping through Mexico like a mariachi band on a mission.

Obtaining the ARA certification comes with a delightful twist—it's completely cost-free for tequila producers. Not only does it provide them with a competitive edge, demonstrating their commitment to sustainability, but it also helps meet the growing demand from consumers who crave eco-friendly products. Additionally, being ahead of the game means tequila producers can anticipate and comply with international regulations, such as those in Europe, regarding sustainability in beverage production. Talk about raising the bar for the tequila industry and inspiring a ripple effect across the globe.

As a discerning tequila lover, you might be wondering how to distinguish ARA-certified bottles from the rest. Fear not, dear reader! The ARA seal will proudly grace the labels of tequila bottles, acting as a symbol of environmental responsibility. When you spot this badge of honor, you can sip your tequila with the confidence that it was crafted from agaves planted on land that avoided the devastating fate of deforestation. So, keep your eyes peeled for the ARA seal—it's your guarantee of a sustainable and exquisite tequila experience.

The CRT invites all aspiring agave plantation owners to check the compatibility of their chosen property on the designated online platforms. If you're in Jalisco, head to, and for the lucky residents of the 7 Municipalities of Guanajuato within the Territory of the Appellation of Origin Tequila, visit These platforms ensure that you're setting up your agave haven in the right place, avoiding any environmental snafus along the way.

With this visionary initiative, the CRT aims to solidify tequila's reputation for quality and now, sustainability, on an international scale. By generating confidence among consumers and global markets, they're pouring a shot of sustainable magic into each tequila glass. So, raise your glasses, fellow tequila enthusiasts, and toast to a greener, more responsible future—one sip at a time!

Paper talk:

The CRT and authorities have uncorked the ARA certification, set to grace an increasing number of tequila bottles. Here's the scoop for you, the savvy consumer:

When you spot the ARA seal on a bottle of tequila, it means the beverage was crafted from agaves planted on land that wasn't deforested.

As of today, six out of the 187 registered tequila companies hold the ARA certification.

The Objectives:

ARA-certified tequila production is already flourishing:

  • 667,700 liters of ARA-certified tequila have been produced.
  • The goal for this year is to reach one million liters of ARA-certified tequila.