En este momento estás viendo Bitter coffee
Resuming the production of Hola coffee efficiently becomes the main commitment for the workers of the UEB Torrefactora in Ciego de Avila. Photo: Raquel Vingut Ceballos

Bitter coffee

The UEB Torrefactora de Ciego de Avila collective is not discouraged by the setbacks. Workers face new challenges in defense of the 2024 plan.

When the coffee machine misses the dark roasted powder, the absence of Hola coffee leaves a bitter taste on the palate, not only in Ciego de Avila.

And it is that the collective of the «roastery», as it is called in the City of Portals, contributes to the presence of the product in the family basket in Havana, Villa Clara, Camagüey and other provinces.

Those who process and pack the contents in the small package also feel the dissatisfaction of not always having it ready to strain and taste, but they do not express it with discouragement because the infusion is life and they are willing to defend their industrial tradition.

This is how the participants in the assembly for the presentation and analysis of the economic plan and the budget for 2024, at the Unidad Empresarial de Base (UEB) Torrefactora, in the territory of Avila, ratified their commitment.

They recognized that the non-existence of blended coffee during three months of 2023 had repercussions among consumers. The fact that the plan was fulfilled in this annual stage at 59 %, with 264 tons less than expected, was influenced by the deficit of raw materials, mainly coffee beans, both of national origin due to the non-fulfillment and delay of deliveries by Agriculture, as well as the delays in imports.

The collective faced such obstacles with the realization of alternative productions. One of them was corn flour commercialized with the population, state-owned companies and the private sector. This, together with the fundamental activity, became a solution that provided efficiency: more commercial production and net sales, less expenses, and profits in excess of 5 million 253 thousand pesos.

Although, as the mechanic Félix Nelson Barroso Reina said, «what we need the most is supplies to produce coffee, here there are no interruptions, the innovators guarantee the operation of the equipment».

The most outstanding worker of the UEB formulated his concern with absolute reason, since in January they produced the volumes of the aromatic product to guarantee the regulated quota in the warehouses, corresponding to last December. As of the 9th of this month, they had not received the appropriate technological diesel for roasting the raw material. Therefore, the delivery of the coffee supply book for the first two months of this year is pending.

The options for not paralyzing the factory are back on the table. «Soon we will receive corn to process flour», affirmed Raquel Vingut Ceballos, director of the local roasting plant. However, will the relaxation of the corporate purpose of this socialist state enterprise continue this year?

Inquiring more about the matter, Trabajadores found the document RS.1: CI.O.2024.315, of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, related to an agreement of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers, which states: «To withdraw by the subsidiaries of the Central Commercial Registry (RCC) in each territory, the commercial authorizations issued to the wholesale producing and commercializing entities that carry out retail sales as a secondary activity. The current authorizations are valid until January 30, 2024».

In this case, since there are no residual productions in roasting, which according to the aforementioned document would be the activities authorized by exception for retail commercialization, the Avilean UEB will have to close the direct sales point to the people and offer corn flour only to non-state companies and entities.

Inés Chaviano Soto, trade unionist at the labor center, receives such concern from the workers, who wonder how is it possible that today there are restrictions for what not so long ago we were called to look for alternatives in the production of food?

This measure is like a bitter gulp of coffee after being stimulated recently in the national meeting of annual balance of the Cubafé company. Because this collective from Avila set production records in previous stages and achieved the status of National Vanguard, among other awards.

Producers are not discouraged by this inconvenience, but it is also a dissatisfaction and a challenge to generate profits and not be able to benefit their protagonists with these, as part of the salary stimulation, since their national company does not meet this efficiency indicator.

Hola coffee processors in Ciego de Avila are willing to face and overcome other difficulties, including insufficient availability of coffee and sugar, in order to meet their productive, economic, union and social commitments this year.

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