PINAR DEL RÍO.– A novel center for the processing of wrapper leaves, and others used in the province's cigar factories, has been operating on a trial basis, leading up to its official inauguration prior to July 26 celebrations.
Located in a former warehouse outside of Las Ovas, the facility is devoted to preparing and categorizing all leaves to be employed in the province to hand roll cigars for export.
Francisco González Pino, director of the province's hand rolled cigar company, explained that its establishment is part of a strategy which is to be extended throughout the country, with the goal of consolidating work that is now being done at each individual factory.
"This way," he noted, "when the raw material reaches them, it is ready to be used… The factories can focus solely on rolling and finishing the product."
Renovated in an investment process undertaken by the company, and other forces affiliated with agriculture in the province, the new center will allow for greater productivity, more efficient use of raw materials, and greater control of resources, González noted.
Although the work here may not seem complicated at first sight, he explained, before a cigar can be rolled, the selected leaves must be separated from a bunch, smoothed , humidified, aerated, de-veined, and categorized according to size, color, and texture, in an air conditioned environment, to ensure the quality if the final product.
The center is projected to employ 42 workers when it is up to speed in September.