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Panama Canal enters coffee business


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Panama Canal enters coffee business

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The Panama Canal Authority (ACP)  inaugurated its first robusta coffee processing plant, on Monday, May 28 as part of an environmental program seeking to conserve its watershed and empower local coffee growers.

Canal administrator  Jorge Luis Quijano, said that until now the farmers of the Canal basin had to grind and roast their beans in the city of Santiago (Veraguas), located more than three hours from their farms, and with this plant, they will save on costs and time.

“This will be good mainly for them (local coffee growers), but also good for the Canal,” said Quijano.

The plant, which will be managed by the Association of Coffee Producers of the Ciri and Trinidad Rivers Sub-basins of the Panama Canal, was inaugurated in the f Las Gaitas, area and is part of the Environmental Economic Incentives Program (PIEA) of the ACP.

“The opening of the processing plant is the last stage of a project that was born in 2013 with the aim of making this area of the Canal basin more resilient, to  “great” threats such as deforestation and water deterioration. , mainly due to unsustainable agrarian practices and the growth of livestock.”  said Quijano.

“When we received the Canal (from the United States), this area was very devastated and little by little through reforestation and the work of the communities we have managed to improve the land,” he said.

The plant has a toaster, a grinder, and a sealer to package the product since the ultimate goal of the program is for the coffee growers association not only to sell the coffee in bulk to large companies, as it does now but also marketed under its own brand: “Cuencafé”.

The coffee harvested in the area is robust, used to make instant coffee and mixtures and is stronger than arabica.

“That Italy is asking about the quality of coffee in the Canal basin is an indication that we have a coffee with a lot of potential,” said Quijano.



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