In what milk processing companies see as a threat, dairy producers are hailing as an opportunity to grow and to enjoy stable prices.
According to an article in Laprensa.com.ni, "the immediate concern of the companies, Centrolac, Parmalat and Eskimo is a lack of clarity over the benefits being offered by the Government to Grupo Corporativo Lala to encourage them to finally decide to invest in Nicaragua, after years of perseverance."
The Costa Rican and Chinese Technical Teams met to begin negotiations to expand the supply of agricultural products from the Central American country.
"The delegations were led by the Costa Rican Minister of Agriculture, Gloria Abraham, and Chinese Vice Minister Sun Dawei, General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of PRC (AQSIQ, by its acronym in English)" , reported Elfinancierocr.com.
Grupo Estrella Azul invested $20 million in a new production plant for processing and packaging beverages using a technology that gives products a long shelf life.
"The initiative by Grupo Estrella Azul to create a Tetra Top and Tetra Gemina (TT / TG) Plant, is part of its strategic plan to establish a platform for growth, based on the most advanced technology in order to develop food products that meet the needs of Panamanian customers and consumers " noted a statement from the company.
Authorities from both countries have signed an agreement to put an end to the dispute over dairy exports from Honduras to El Salvador.
The agreement will mean the opening up of borders and acknowledgement of Central American technical regulations. Implementation will be immediate so that trade can go back to normal.
“Salvadoran authorities had restricted exports from Honduras for approximately one year,” reports Tiempo.hn. “Milk and its derivatives were particularly affected, with even tighter restrictions in the last six months, in retaliation for Honduras limiting imports of eggs from El Salvador as a measure to control the spread of swine flu”.
The Honduran Industrial Association (ANDI) has requested the government get involved to solve the dairy conflict with El Salvador.
García Merino, ANDI director, told La Tribuna that, "we believe the integration process should be fluid, transparent and quick. This issue has come about because the documents needed to ratify the process have still not been signed, leading to delays in the ratification of the Unified Customs system. This system is needed to enable the free movement of people, goods and services".
In the first six months of the year foreign sales of meat, dairy products and livestock from Nicaragua reached $234.5 million.
In the same period of 2009, sales totaled $182,614.
Ronald Blandón, CEO of Nicaraguan cattle farming association, CONAGAN, told Elnuevodiaro.com.ni that, “2010 looks like being a year of growth for our sector. The outlook for all livestock products is positive with growth of 8% forecast”.
Honduran cattle farmers hope an agreement between authorities in El Salvador and Honduras will solve the trade conflict on dairy products.
The president of the Honduran National Federation of Farmers and Breeders (Fenagh), Leopoldo Durán, commented that there is desire on behalf of the Salvadoran authorities to find a permanent solution to the conflict that is preventing the entry of dairy products into El Salvador from Honduras.
A Honduran delegation will meet with the Salvadoran Agricultural minister next week to find a definitive solution to the problem.
Jacobo Regalado Weinzemblut, Honduras’ Agriculture minister, remarked that they will do all they can to solve the problem via bilateral talks, but warned that if these fail, they will take legal action against El Salvador at the Central American Court of Justice.
The agreement grants permission to all Nicaraguan factories that had historically exported to El Salvador.
Additionally, starting August 10, plants that don't have their permits up to date will be reinspected.
"... for the last eight years there have been continuous issues for Nicaraguan dairy products entering El Salvador, although exporting factories were certified by Salvadoran authorities", published El Nuevo Diario in its website. "This agreement is favorable for Nicaragua's dairy sector. It has to do with the analysis of merchandise at the border, with microbiological analysis and the need to pair Nicaraguan and Salvadoran sanitary processes...".