Agriculture Dept. implementing measures to boost local coffee sales
The Puerto Rico Agriculture Department will implement an Executive Order starting Monday that seeks to reduce the purchases of imported coffee products, the agency announced.
The goal is to promote consumption of fully Puerto Rican coffee, Agriculture Secretary Ramón González said.
The order provides that any roaster who wants to buy imported coffee must buy 20% of the local product.
Earlier this week, the agency halted the sale of imported beans out of its warehouses, González said.
“We’re betting on the local coffee harvest, and it can’t go to waste. We want to reposition ourselves in the coffee industry and that we achieve major benefits for the sector,” he said.
Puerto Rico is “is at the best time to increase production, local consumption, and exports. Likewise, we will protect and support small and large coffee growers by offering them a safe market, always guaranteeing their prices, and providing the consumer with the necessary supply,” said González, who estimated that the local harvest for the year 2022-2023 will be around 5 million pounds.
The order establishes the minimum prices to be paid to coffee farmers and roasters. Meanwhile, semi-roasted coffee sold through the Agricultural Businesses Development Administration (ADEA, in Spanish) will remain subject to the Puerto Rico Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DACO, in Spanish) orders.
“We’re visiting coffee buyers to ensure that they are fulfilling the responsibility that was conferred on them through the licenses. Together with Agriculture Department personnel, we want to ensure the marketing of locally produced coffee, and failure to comply with the Order entails an administrative fine of $10,000,” González said.
When there is a shortfall of local coffee available through the ADEA, imported coffee will be sold, he said.