In the last four months, the distribution of cigars in the retail sales network of Internal Trade has had an instability, marked, fundamentally, by the deficit of the production factories, said Leticia Ojeda Reyes, commercial director of the Food Group of that organism.
Unforeseen breakages, logistics and transportation problems, lack of materials used in the production processes, in addition to the stoppage of some lines or delays in deliveries as a result of the pandemic, have had a negative impact on this reality, he said.
For example, the Lázaro Peña industrial center in Holguín, where 60% of the national plan is concentrated,
recorded its lowest delivery levels of the current year in the July-September quarter, due to the fact that a large part of its staff fell ill with COVID-19. The Ramiro Lavandero company, in Ranchuelo, Villa Clara, and Segundo Quincosa, in Havana, were affected for similar reasons.
Given the low levels of availability –he said–, the territorial governments decided, since June, as a containment measure to avoid hoarding and reselling this product, to distribute national cigars in a controlled way through the supply book , limiting its sale to people over 18 years of age and depending on the amounts that the supplier insures, in this case Tabacuba.
“In September, to cite one case, shipments from the province arrived in the capital between the 25th and 30th, and it was then decided to distribute that inventory during October.”
We are talking about 4.2 million packs of the Criollo brand, which will be sold this month, at the rate of three per capita, in the 1,714 retail units of the territory, detailed, on the other hand, Marco Aguirre Carvajal, provincial deputy director of Food of the Havana Commerce Company.
He recalled, however, that this is a product for free sale and that “July, September or August cigarettes should not be owed to consumers, since it is not contained within the regulated family basket, it does not have to be distributed every month. ».
Recently, José Liván Font Bravo, first vice president of Tabacuba, reported that at the end of September, production was running at 81%, and, since the end of 2020, the lack of financing had been impacting the purchase of wrapping paper, labels and pieces for the factories of that economic line.
Although today, he assured, the situation begins to gradually reverse itself, it is difficult that, in the remainder of the year, all productions will be recovered, although for the first quarter of 2022 this scenario is expected to change.
If from now on the daily production stabilizes in the four factories of the country above 1,400,000 packs of cigarettes, in the retail trade network a greater presence of this product will gradually begin to be seen, although still insufficient, he said. .