Thomas Hoey Jr. Comments on Cuba’s Fruit Monopoly and New Move into Private Cooperatives

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Cuba recently announced a move away from its monopolized produce market, allowing for a new “non-state” sector of wholesale goods. Thomas Hoey Jr. of Long Island Banana Corp. comments on the development.

Having imported many produce items from Central and South America, Thomas Hoey Jr.—owner of Long Island Banana Corp.—knows how complicated Cuba’s fruit market has been over the years. In fact, since the 1960s, the country has been signified by its fully monopolized hold over produce operations. According to Hoey, this monopoly has not only hurt the Cuban economy, but also has resulted in lower quality produce in the country. However, recent changes in the country’s agricultural production are expected to make a slow, yet solid impact on Cuba’s economy.

Thomas Hoey Jr. points to a recent article from Reuters that reveals, “A wholesale produce market run by a private cooperative will open on July 1 in Havana, the first such market since Cuba monopolized wholesale operations in the 1960s, state media said on Thursday.” While the premises will still be owned by the state, the privatized cooperative—operating on a “supply and demand” basis—will prove a monumental transition for the country.

Specifically, the article reports, “The private cooperative will be the first to operate in Cuba outside of farming and is one of some 200 privately run wholesale markets of all types set to open in the coming months. They will range from food services and construction to transportation and shrimp breeding.”

As a produce industry maven, Thomas Hoey Jr., notes that the private cooperative introduction in Cuba will likely have a heavy, positive impact on the way the country manufactures and distributes food items. For example, Reuters observes, “Cuban farmers and consumers have long complained that the state's monopoly on food sales is a disincentive to production, inefficient and leads to waste and poor quality produce.”

As a business owner, Hoey also indicates that the recent decision could lead to progressive change—and new opportunities—for enterprising professionals in Cuba. One such opportunity noted by the article includes the observation that “the state is licensing private truckers and vendors as part of an opening to small businesses.” Additionally, Reuters states, “The government has said it will hold on to medium-sized establishments or lease them to privately run cooperatives free of state control and setting of prices, which it views as preferable to businesses owned by individuals.”

Although many economists note that the new shift will likely endure significant problems, that the injection of private cooperatives is a progressive move for the country. “It is good to see that Cuba's government is taking this step. They will most likely learn that a true privately run market will be a success. It will motivate hard working produce growers to work even harder,” Thomas Hoey Jr. concludes.


Thomas Hoey Jr. is a proven business professional whose history extends from a long line of successful fruit merchants. Hoey is currently the owner of Long Island Banana Corp., which specializes in importing bananas—as well as a full of line of other produce items—from Central and South America to the New York and New Jersey region. This company is known for ripening its produce directly at the Long Island Banana Corp. facility, thus guaranteeing that each piece of fruit is delicious and perfect, ready for the consumer to enjoy.

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Veruca Outshorn
PR Management Inc.
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