OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Cigar brand Partagás won various awards during the Inter-Tabac Fair, held September 10-16 in Dortmund, Germany. Photo: Habanos S.A.

The 19th edition of the Habano Festival, the largest annual event celebrating the best tobacco in the world, will take place in Cuba February 27 through March 3, 2017

Speaking to Granma Intenrational, Daymi Difurniao, Habanos S.A communications and marketing specialist, noted that the event program includes presentations of the major innovations of the year, as well as traditional activities such as the welcome evening; tours of the best tobacco farms in the Vuelta Abajo area, located in Pinar del Río province; visits to the most emblematic cigar factories; a trade fair and seminars; the International Habanosommelier contest (the paring of habanos with different foods and distilled beverages); cigar rolling master-class; gala dinner and eagerly awaited humidor action.

According to the Habanos S.A website, “Habanos is the Protected Denomination of Originreserved for a selection of the most outstanding brands whose cigars are manufactured to the most exacting standards from tobaccos grown only in particular areas, which are also protected as denominations of origin.

“All Habanos are crafted Totalmente a Mano – totally by hand – using methods that were pioneered in Havana two centuries ago and remain virtually unchanged to this day.

“More than 500 manual tasks are performed in both the agricultural and manufacturing processes from the planting of the seeds to the Habano’s final resting place in its box.”

The entity, founded in 1994 and with a catalogue of 27 exclusive cigar brands, is

an equal partnership/joint venture between the Cuban state enterprise Cubatabaco and Altadis, a Spanish company affiliated with the UK’s Tobacco Group PLC.

Habanos S.A is responsible for marketing all Cuban tobacco products and other related items, in both the domestic and international markets.

In 2015 it saw total sales of 428 million USD, representing 4% growth as compared to the previous year.

The entity is present on all five continents with operations in over 150 countries (through its distributors); while the international market accounts for over 90% of sales.

Recently, Habanos S.A once again featured as the protagonist of the International Tobacco Trade Fair (Inter-Tabac), held September 16-20 in Dortmund, Germany, and considered to be Europe’s most important for cigar products and accessories.

The 2016 prize for best Cuban brand, awarded by Cigar Journal, went to Partagás, while the product’s Serie D No. 5 won the award for best Habano 2016.

Likewise, Fifth Avenue Products Trading G.M.B.H, exclusive distributor of Cuban cigars in Germany, Austria, and Poland, presented the award for Germany’s best Habanos expert 2016, to Félix Spohn from the Zigarrenwelt store in Cologne.