ALCONA S.A., vision towards a sustainable future

By Roxana Consuegra, Special for Correo de Cuba
Photos: José (Tito) Meriño
The Cuban Mercantile Society ALCONA, S.A. is one of the leaders in the export and import of goods and services aimed at the sustainability and ecological development at the international level. It is ascribed to the Flora and Fauna Business Group, belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Its range of values is wide, with the presence in the foreign market since 1995. It specializes in the marketing of live animals, fresh foods, and charcoal and its derivatives. In addition, it offers environmental sanitation services that guarantee the balance of the ecosystems destined for nature tourism.
ALCONA, S.A. creates new structures of attention in response to the demand of the country’s management, and with the commitment that implies being one of the 36 companies designated for the export and import mission related to the forms of non-state management, at the proposal of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, explained to Correo de Cuba the engineer Berkys Medina Urra, general director of that entity.
From the chaining strategy, three main objectives are achieved: the substitution of imports, the increase of food production to satisfy the country’s needs and the increase of goods and services exports to the international market, in order to increase Cuba’s income, Medina said.
By identifying potential producers that generate exportable funds, the entity prepares the procedure for the commercialization of these items, taking into account their specificities, as well as the harmonization of protocols with the interested countries.
They must adjust to international quality standards, be qualified by health records and meet environmental sustainability parameters, the directive said.
An example of this is the star product of the entity’s export profile. Artisanal marabou charcoal and its derivatives constitute a sustainable alternative: the fields of this invasive species are released, while it is used in the development of agricultural programs. This way, this natural resource is better used, instead of cutting down large vegetable populations as happens in other countries, Medina stressed.
FOTO DEL CARBÓN/ Pie de foto: Handmade marabou charcoal
This combustible material, of proven quality, high levels of fixed carbon, durability in burning and free of contaminating elements, is packaged in polypropylene and paper sacks. It is mainly commercialized with European nations, such as Germany, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey, and with Canada in the Americas.
On the other hand, the export of live animals has niche markets in the Netherlands, Spain, China, Chile, Mexico and some regions of the Caribbean. Among the most requested are fish, horses, dolphins and pink flamingos. He revealed that the distribution of the last two is effective once the permits are granted by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Medina Urra stated that environmental sanitation is the service with the highest demand nationwide. Currently, the potential for its inclusion in the short-term export portfolio is being studied.
It provides, among other features, deep surface cleaning, environmental disinfection, pest and vector control, and unblocking and cleaning of sewage systems and grease traps. These actions are carried out in hotel and health system facilities.
FOTO DE SANEAMIENTO/ Pie de foto: Disinfection and cleaning process at the Faustino Pérez Hospital in Matanzas

In view of the epidemiological situation facing Cuba, ALCONA, S.A. plays a fundamental role. It has carried out total sanitization processes in polyclinics and hospitals, such as Faustino Pérez, in the city of Matanzas, Julio Aristegui, in Cárdenas, and Mario Muñoz, in the municipality of Colón, in that western province. The processes involve qualified personnel for the use of biological and chemical products that are biodegradable and in harmony with the environment.
ALCONA, S.A. becomes stronger. Its potentialities attract more and more the foreign market and with 25 years of life, it advocates for a sustainable future; he concluded
Published in Correo de Cuba