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U.S. blockade hampers exports of Cuban citrus fruit

citricosThe economic, commercial, financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba for more than 50 years, hampers export of Cuban citrus and other fresh fruit, causing significant losses to growers and the national economy.

The blockade does not allow the country to sell grapefruit in U.S. territory, obliging the sector to focus on industrial processing to produce juice, pulp, concentrate and essential oils for export to Europe and Asia.

Prices are very good internationally at this time, in particular for grapefruit juice concentrate.

Rolando Riaño González, development director for the Victoria de Girón food processing company, based in the province of Matanzas, told AIN that this strategy is more expensive, entailing higher shipping costs associated with sending products to distant regions.

U.S. ports can be reached within four to five hours, while a transatlantic trip to Europe takes more than 15 days.

Given the perishable nature of citrus fruit, nearby markets are sought to allow for timely and rapid transportation, in order to best meet clients’ expectations.

Riaño González reported that exchanges with professors at the University of Florida have taken place and that these experts expressed interest in establishing working relations with academic and scientific institutions in Cuba.


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