Saturday, March 17, 2018

A wholesale market!

Granma reports that the first wholesale food market has opened in Havana, fulfilling a longstanding policy commitment to create wholesale supply outlets for the growing private sector.

For now, the clientele will be restricted to non-farm cooperatives (former state restaurants converted into private cooperatives). Later, it will serve entrepreneurs renting space in state facilities, and it makes no mention of serving the thousands of private paladares and cafeterias that also need access to these supplies – not to mention their customers who would appreciate lower prices, and Cuban consumers who don’t enjoy seeing entrepreneurs at their local food store buying 12 cases of beer or 10 kilos of cheese at a time.

Every time the subject comes up, Cuban officials speak of the need to move gradually, and they express worry about the cost of excess inventories in their retail system (for example, here and here and here). So it’s not surprising that stores will only open in other provinces after this one in Havana is in a state of “optimal functioning,” an official explains in the article.

But it’s a start.

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