The Slovak investment group Proxenta and the Cuban Corporación Alimentaria S.A. Coralsa have signed a joint venture agreement to form a new company Proxcor S.A. Proxcor will manufacture jams, biscuits and other sweet food products for a period of 25 years.
Proxenta will be the ninth food manufacturing company to invest on the Island, a list which includes other companies such as Profood S.A., Heineken and Nestlé.
The news of the deal is good for Cuba and one step closer to food recovery of the country’s food industry which has suffered from a variety of factors leading to the necessity to import.
Pavol Kozik, General Manager and owner of Proxenta, said that the investment totaled $40.9 million and will include the installation of modern technology into an existing factory in Caibarien in the Villa Clara province. This factory, Confitería Caibarién, ceased production in 1976, leaving the technology obsolete.
A new factory will be built in Caibarién, with a production capacity of more than 12,000 tons per year. The company will manufacture, package and distribute cookies, candies, breakfast cereals, and other sweet food products under the Guaní and Toco brand names.
Once the factory is in full operation, it will replace some 83% of imports of these confectionary items. It will also provide much needed employment to the surrounding area.
The renovation and construction is planned to be carried out over a five year period. By 2023, it will be in full production.
Cuba currently imports an average of 12,000 tons of jams and biscuits each year. The joint venture is a significant step towards replacing reliance on foreign food imports.