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HomeCoffeeTop Nicaragua Coffee Exporter Halts Operations Suddenly

Top Nicaragua Coffee Exporter Halts Operations Suddenly

The financial closure of the company CISA Exportadora, the main marketer of Nicaraguan coffee, caused concern among local producers and the government, which on Wednesday offered support to coffee growers.

Coffee producers told local media that the company, which exports an average of 69 million kilos of coffee, suspended operations this week following the bankruptcy of its parent company, Mercon Coffee Group, based in the Netherlands.

Nicaraguan media in exile claimed that many producers were concerned because they had contracts with CISA, which also offered them technical and financial support.

The government of President Daniel Ortega said it will support producers with legal measures, which it did not detail, so that the company fulfills its obligations, and it will seek to facilitate the marketing and export of coffee.

“This is a global bankruptcy of operations that is not only happening in Nicaragua, but also in Brazil, Spain, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and Vietnam. This problem is outside the Nicaraguan reality,” the government said in a statement published in pro-government media.

Coffee growing is the second largest export sector behind gold, and there are some 38,000 producers who employ around 600,000 people in permanent and temporary jobs. “We are doing everything that, according to the Constitution and the laws, corresponds to us so that the company CISA Exportadora fulfills its commercial and financial commitments,” the government added.

The government and sector institutions will seek to facilitate “the marketing and export of coffee resulting from production and coffee harvests,” it said. “We will also make arrangements with those countries interested in acquiring our quality coffee now that we have opened up new international commercial spaces,” the statement added.

The company CISA Exportadora was founded in Nicaragua in 1950 by Dulio Baltodano. His son José Antonio Baltodano founded Mercon Coffee Corporation in New York in 1982, which years later became Mercon Coffee Group and was headquartered in the Netherlands.

Local media claims that Baltodano sold most of his shares to international financiers in mid-2022. Mercon Coffee Group has not reported on the closure.

Mercon’s website indicates that it provides “personalized services to customers in sixty countries around the world through our offices in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Spain, the United States, Vietnam and from our headquarters” in the Netherlands.

The National Coffee Council estimates the coffee production for the 2023/24 cycle at more than 138 million kilos. Nicaragua produced 240 million kilos, 3% above the previous season.

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