OnCuba reports that marabú charcoal is first Cuban product to be officially exported to the United States. The article states that the charcoal is produced on the island with an artisanal process and that the use of marabú is positive as it is an invasive plant that has across through the island.
[. . .] An agreement signed on Thursday between the U.S. company Coabana Trading LLC, a subsidiary of Reneo Consulting, and the state-run CubaExport will make it possible for Cuban charcoal to be present in the U.S. market starting January 18, two days before the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Scott Gilbert, president of the U.S. company, pointed out that the agreement “marks the beginning of a new trade era between the United States and Cuba” and said that the operation is a “perfect example” of the mutually benefitting association, given that marabú is an invasive plant spread throughout the island, which is why turning it into charcoal contributes to clearing the fields for agriculture.
[. . .] After the signing of the agreement, Scott Gilbert recognized the limitations for bilateral exchange established by his country’s economic blockade/embargo on Cuba, a policy he considers is a “failed relic from the Cold War.” Regarding this, he affirmed that his company will do everything it can to expand economic relations with the Cuban people, and added that he hoped to work with the new government as he has done with that of Barack Obama.
Meanwhile, Isabel O’Reilly, CubaExport director, commented that the first shipment of 40 tons is ready, and confirmed the intention to “continue our relationship for many years and not just with charcoal, but also other products that we have ready to export like bee honey and coffee.”
The price agreed on by both enterprises is 420 dollars per ton, higher than the usual for charcoal in the international market, which is around 360 dollars.
According to what was explained after the signing of the agreement, the charcoal producing cooperatives in Cuba sell their product to a local packing enterprise, responsible for its processing and final preparation. Finally, CubaExport will be in charge of selling it, the paperwork and the export. Each intermediary earns a commission of 1 or 2 percent, according to Isabel O’Reilly.
The Cuban product will be sold to restaurants and consumers online from the United States in packages of 33 pounds (15 kilos). Fogo Charcoal will be in charge of its sale in the U.S.
[Photo: Alejandro Ernesto (EFE)]