Tuesday 27 September 2022

Costa Rica running out of guaro

Some supermarkets reflect a shortage of product on the shelves

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24 September 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – This is not a joke. The shelves of some shops and supermarkets begin to show the lack of product because the orders are not being fulfilled.

According to the Diario Extra, the newspaper that bills itself as the most circulated in the country, representatives of the Cacique guaro brand distributors told the newspaper that the Fábrica Nacional de Licores (Fanal)  – the National Liquor Factory – that produces the product is not shipping on a regular basis.

Guaro Cacique boxes begin to be scarce among distribution companies. Photo Diario Extra

The reason would be the lack of raw materials for the production of liquor.

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At least that is what companies such as Grupo Representaciones Internacionales Rosma, which distributes 80% of Cacique guaro in the country is being told.

Róger Hernández, a spokesman for the company, told Diario Extra that they were unable to stock up on Monday.

Read more: The Unusual Case of the FANAL

“What they tell us is that there is no raw material and we are running out of product. We know that there are places where it has already started to be scarce,” Hernández commented.

He added that it is not only about the losses as a business, but also about the livelihood of the 250 families they employ and who would be affected if this situation continues.

The sale of guaro Cacique represents 70% of the income for this company and what is happening is beginning to worry them.

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“Last week the Fanal did not produce in three days and that means that we have the trucks parked outside, they cannot leave to leave product because there is none,” Hernández added.

For Joaquín Vargas, of Vinos y Licores Selectos del Mundo, the big winner with this situation would be the illegal market, because if people do not find the product on the shelves of official stores, they would get it another way.

Read more: Guaro tainted with methanol claims 26th fatality in Costa Rica

“The cloned product is the direct result of when there is a shortage. We have two or three weeks like this,” said Vargas, adding that the Fanal is alternating between products shipped. “They say they should prioritize some product lines due to the pandemic and that could be a breeding ground for smuggling,” Vargas said.

Some supermarkets reflect a shortage of product on the shelves. Photo Diario Extra

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In her report, María Siu Lanzas says she tried to obtain answers from the Fanal, specifically general manager José David Piedra, but he preferred not to refer to the issue. Lanzas is expecting an interview with Piedra today, Thursday.

Meanwhile, a survey of some supermarkets indicates there is some guaro on the shelves, however, retailers warn current stock will be depleted soon given it is one of the most sought after products.

CNP has no money

The Fanal (a state monopoly) is attached as a division of the Consejo Nacional de Producción Costa Rica (CNP) – an autonomous institution whose function is to promote and encourage productive agricultural activities and improve the country’s economic development and competitiveness.

Besides the guaro, the Fanal has dedicated its resources to the production of alcohol and antiseptic gel for the care of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has left the CNP with no money to purchase supplies despite the fiscal rule that restricts budgetary spending in accordance with the growth of public debt would have her hands tied.

By July of this year, the CNP consumed 85.32% of the raw material for production.

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