Cofece initiates investigation on mezcal market in Mexico

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece) initiated an investigation into the mezcal market in Mexico.

Mezcal is an alcoholic beverage that is obtained by distillation and rectification of musts (or juices) prepared directly with the sugars extracted from the ripe heads of the agaves, which are previously cooked and subjected to alcoholic fermentation.

Through a notice in the Official Gazette of the Federation, Cofece reported this Thursday the start of the investigation for a complaint identified with file number DE-050-2019 for the possible commission of relative monopolistic practices in the evaluation market of the conformity of the alcoholic beverage called mezcal.

Mexico has about 200 species of agave, of which currently only about 12 to 15 are mezcal maguey.

Each mezcal is associated with a species of maguey and a peasant region.

The word mezcal has its origin in words from the Nahuatl language. Some argue that it derives from mexcalli, which means cooked maguey.

The mezcal industry began in the 16th century, but it was not until the Mexican Revolution that it had its first impulse.

However, its growth was very slow, just 25 years ago the production of mezcal in an artisanal way was illegal, so everything was made clandestinely.


Cofece stated that the present procedure should not be understood as a prejudice on the responsibility of any economic agent, as provided in the second paragraph of Article 54 of the Provisions, but as an action by the authority to verify compliance with the Federal Law on Economic Competition (LFCE).

In terms of the third paragraph of article 71 of the LFCE, the investigation period will not be less than 30 business days nor will it exceed 120 business days, counted from the date of this agreement, which may be extended up to four times of in accordance with the provisions of the fourth paragraph of the cited article.

Based on articles 3, sections IX, X and XI, 76, 124 and 125 of the LFCE, the information and documents that Cofece obtains directly in conducting its investigations and verification procedures will be reserved, classified as confidential or it will be public.


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