George Taylor shares food production expertise in Cuba

Last updated: 9.33am, Monday 27th January 2014 by

Here at Mackie's Crisps, we take great pride in our expertise in potato growing. And just a couple of weeks ago, our Managing Director, George Taylor, was in Cuba sharing his knowledge on the subject.

George, who was recently invited to join the Board of Havana Energy Ltd., conducted a presentation at the UKTI Cuba-Great Britain Business Forum in Havana.

Havana Energy owns 49% of the Joint Venture BioPower. George joined the Board of HE primarily due to his expertise in every aspect of the food supply chain from primary production, storage, transportation, packing, sales and marketing through to delivery of value added food products which are sold both in the UK and Overseas.

George presented his plans to develop and fully fund a food packing facility for the grading, packing and further processing of various crops that will be grown on a new sustainable model farm that will be developed by regenerating fallow land and land that has been cleared of the ingressive weed Marabu. He explained that in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture he will agree the priority crops to be grown and apply their collective knowledge and skills to increase yields and quality through improved technology and innovation. The initial priority will be to develop a complete potato supply chain from seed through to further processing - similar to our operation here. This proposal will include the reintroduction of High Grade Scottish Seed potatoes to the island which will be grown initially on approximately 100 ha of land. The harvested crop will be transported to the Mariel development where it will be stored, graded, washed and further processed.

The objective is to deliver a sustainable model farm that benefits the local and National Cuban economy and demonstrates due care for the environment. From the Mariel development we will initially process fresh potatoes for the local market and we will ensure greater year round product availability by using temperature controlled storage techniques.

Cuba has an abundance of good fertile soils and an excellent underground water supply. Much of this land is currently out of production due to lack of capital in the country. Cuba currently imports 60% of all its food requirements.

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