Nestlé and Cuban food enterprise Corporación Alimentaria, S.A. (Coralsa), have started the construction of a food production plant in the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM). Nestlé will invest $55 million in the factory, which will employ 260 people by 2020.
The plant will produce the world’s leading coffee brand Nescafé, the local Cuban roast & ground coffee Serrano, Nestlé Fitness cereal based snacks, the Nesquik powdered beverage, as well as Maggi cooking aids.
Yearly production capacity is expected to be over 18,500 tons in total, for local consumption and export. The factory will be located in a 602,779 sq. ft. area, where manufacturing structures will occupy 139,930 sq. ft. distributed in two floors. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 and operations will start in the first trimester of 2020.
Reuters News reported that Cuba created the zone around the Mariel port just west of Havana four years ago, offering companies significant tax and customs breaks. Its aim to replace imports with Made in Cuba goods has become all the more pressing because aid from socialist ally Venezuela is falling, resulting in a cash crunch.
Laurent Freixe, CEO for the Americas at Nestlé, said: “This new factory will help meet growing consumer demand and further strengthen our presence in Cuba. Local production capacity combined with Nestlé’s know-how will benefit the local food industry and create new chances for growth.”
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Cuban authorities including Mrs. María Carmen de la Concepción González, Minister of Food Industry; Mrs.Ana Teresa Igarza Martínez, General Director of ZEDM and Mr. Nelson Arias Moreno, President of Coralsa; among others.
Harold Hoffmann, Country Manager for Cuba, said: “This production plant represents a great opportunity to develop new categories with high demand in Cuban market. We seek to offer products with nutritional value, in coherence with our Nutrition, Health and Wellness strategy, while expanding the business in the region”.
“Cuba has great opportunities for industrial development; with this investment we aim to be a part of its growth as we are sure that it will continue to be an important engine of profitability in the Latin Caribbean region while establishing a strong footprint in the country for the next decades,” said Alexandre Carreteiro, Nestlé’s Market Head for Latin Caribbean.
Nestlé has been in Cuba since 1908, growing significantly in the last 20 years, with plants destined to the production of mineral water and carbonated soft drinks at Los Portales and ice-cream at Coralac, both joint venture with Coralsa. A wide range of Nestlé products are also imported into Cuba through a representation office Silsa Dominicana SA, contributing with the health and wellbeing of the Cuban population.
Information provided by Nestlé