- Category: Business
- Published on Tuesday, May 24 2011 02:14
- Written by Rod Hughes
- Hits: 851
FANAL, the National Liquor Factory that produces El Caicique guaro and Ron Colorado rum, among other products, has tripled its sales on the tipples this year. Last year's sales were an anemic 55,000 cases during the first four months as contrasted with 133,000 in the same period this year.
Liquor sales may not be a traditional economic indicator but the government-owned company is happy.
Projections point to record sales this year that will reach the company goal of 416,000 cases, 163,000 more than in 2010. The FANAL press release says the increase is due mainly to better promotion, discounts and improved relations with distributors. As well as coordination with the Police Corps, National Health Ministry and city governments to crack down on contraband liquor.
Moreover, the brisk sales have allowed the company to pay its debts to the National Sugar Cane Industry League, National Production Council and the Social Security Administration (Caja), according to Eulogio Dominguez, the company's new administrator.
(Sugar cane is the chief ingredient both in rum and guaro. The latter, cheapest of all liquors sold here and the highest selling as well, qualifies for the U.S. native American name, "firewater.")
The liquor company, which also produces a cheap gin, vodka, Triple Sec, Coffee Liquor and hopes to continue marketing quality products at competitive prices according to Dominguez.
The FANAL (National Liquor Factory) History:
FANAL was created on the 2nd of September of 1850, by Executive Decree #99 on the initiative of President Juan Rafael Mora Porras, with the objective of concentrating in the hands of the state the distillation of alcohol and the production of alcoholic beverages.
All alcoholic production equipment was nationalized and brought to San José. The idea was twofold: to promote the production of sugar cane and protect the health of consumers, who were drinking home-made brews that were literally toxic, having a high degree of impurities and strange ingredients. Obviously these home brews did not pay taxes either, and the first factory was established in the FANAL building in San José, today the home of CENAC (The National Center for Culture).
The plant was inaugurated on August 24th of 1856 by President Mora, and with the blessing of the Archbishop of San José, Anselmo Llorente La Fuente. Cacique Guaro was the first product of the FANAL and still the best selling item. Today, FANAL also produces a variety of beverages, as well as alcohol for industrial, medicinal, and domestic use.
As well as making a profit for the state, the FANAL operations use a by-product of sugar production which would otherwise be disposed of as waste. FANAL's profits are turned over to the CNP (National Production Council) which must invest its funds in support of agriculture and small farmers.