Costa Rica will export eggs and ‘gourmet’ coffee to Cuba

Coffee in eastern provinces: production begins, but delays are not pickt up

HAVANA, Oct. 3  The Costa Rican company that sent 24 tons of meat to Cuba in August will export flavored beverages, soft drinks, fruit pulps, bottled water, coffee, and eggs to the island in the coming days.
The company claims that it has the capacity to operate 150 containers and takes only three days to have orders ready, according to a note published by Prensa Latina.

Daniel Torres and Verónica Alfaro, directors of Imagine Investments, told the official Cuban agency that the successful experience of the meat container led them to “identify opportunities and needs that exist”, after which they plan to bring a wide variety of products to the country.

“We are happy, they will be products that reach that market at competitive prices, more accessible to Cuban customers,” said Torres. So far, they have 10 clients who have purchased drinks, the first shipment that will arrive on the Island.

Santiago de Cuba, Guantánamo and Granma produce 90% of the national coffee, but they have not had it in their notebook for months. (Overcome)

The note adds that the company will export “top-of-the-line coffee, of great quality in flavor, bouquet and type of roast to the taste of Cubans.”

Costa Rica will export eggs and 'gourmet' coffee to Cuba

Santiago de Cuba, Guantánamo and Granma produce 90% of the national coffee, but they have not had it in their notebook for months.

The announcement comes a few weeks after the official press of Holguín announced that eastern Cuba will not receive this product – which has not been in the warehouses since May – for the remainder of the year.

This lack has led to an increase in imports, as shown by the two-and-a-half million dollars invested in acquiring the product in the United States.

However, economist Pedro Monreal took advantage of the occasion to explain that exports barely have an impact on the winery’s coffee.

According to the latest data, from 2021, national production was 97.7% of the total supply, 17,100 tons, compared to just 400 tons purchased abroad.

“The coffee crisis is explained by the most recent cycle of production contraction that began in 2019. Between 2018 and 2022, the fall in national production of roasted and packaged coffee registered a notable drop of 44.5%. Today less is produced than in the Special Period,” pointed out the economist.

The Costa Rican company’s offer will go, predictably and in the absence of more data, to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) or stores in freely convertible currency.

The profile of the product, as described by Prensa Latina, does not place it within the reach of all budgets, although it could shift demand if those who can afford it stop consuming the cheapest one.

Another product that the company plans to bring to the Island is eggs. According to the directors of Imagine Investments, thanks to an alliance with Costa Rican poultry farmers and after submitting a request to the National Center for Animal Health of Cuba, “a significant amount of fresh eggs” will soon begin to be imported, they said without specifying the figures. nor what date is it expected.

The product, scarce in Cuba as a result – among other factors – of the poor health of the chickens, has scandalously increased its price in recent months.

On the black market, the price of eggs already reaches 3,000 Cuban pesos for a carton and buying them in the US to send to Cuba is close to seven dollars per dozen, plus shipping.

“We always had the help of the institutions of both countries,” thank the businessmen, who will be at the next Havana International Fair.

Imports can contribute to expanding the supply and lowering the price of these foods, but some economists also highlight the risks of trusting everything to simply buying abroad to sell, without encouraging domestic production.

In a statement released last week, three independent organizations criticized precisely these practices. “We do not need food importing companies like Gaesa [the Armed Forces business group] and its MSMEs, but economic freedom to produce them in Cuba.

The population’s food is not ensured by crushing the agricultural producer and granting privileges to MSMEs.”