JAYUYA, Puerto Rico (August 18, 2008) – The executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), Terestella González Denton, on behalf of Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, announced that 10 historic coffee plantations, known as haciendas, will form part of the Island’s newly designated Coffee Zone following certification by the Department of Agriculture and the PRTC. The plantations are in the towns of Jayuya, San Sebastian, Ponce, Adjuntas, Las Marías and Lares. González Denton also introduced a new seal of quality for the island’s coffee.
The designation of the new Coffee Zone is intended to stimulate agrotourism and draw attention to a local industry that generates 60 million dollars a year for the island’s gross domestic product. Further, the new Coffee Zone offers tourists an alternative attraction to visit in the Island where they can commune with nature and explore a lush, mountainous region.
“Puerto Rico’s coffee growers are now an integral part of our agrotourism offering as they will welcome tourists to their plantations and offer them an authentic experience,” said Gonzalez Denton.
The Executive Director also pointed out that the Coffee Zone will form part of PRTC marketing efforts for the island’s Porta del Sol (West Coast) and Porta Caribe (South) regions and there is a plan in place to promote coffee tourism in upcoming events.
The plantations that have been certified by the Department of Agriculture and the PRTC are:
· Café Bello, Adjuntas
· Sagra, Adjuntas
· Anna Coffee Estate, Jayuya
· Hacienda Gripiñas, Jayuya
· Hacienda San Pedro, Jayuya
· Café Laredo, Lares
· Palma Escrita/La Casona, Las Marías
· Hacienda Buena Vista, Ponce
· Hacienda Patricia, Ponce
· Hacienda El Jibarito, San Sebastian
Official Seal of Quality
The Department of Agriculture has enlisted the support of certified coffee experts to classify the island’s coffee based on a 2006 ruling that set the standard for all coffee evaluation. The classifications for Puerto Rican Coffee are: Type II (good coffee), Type A (excellent coffee) and Special Coffee (exceptional coffee). The coffee submitted for classification is 100 percent Arabica, ripe harvest, irrigated and with a humidity content of 10 to 12 percent, dried at temperatures not exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hacienda San Pedro
The Hacienda San Pedro, in the town of Jayuya, was founded in the 19th Century and boasts its own line of coffee that is 100 percent Arabica, 100 percent ripe, and planted, harvested and processed by Puerto Rican workers. The coffee is described as having a rich body with a chocolate after-taste. Under the Hacienda San Pedro brand, the plantation’s coffee is now exported to Italy and Japan and there are plans to broaden international awareness of Puerto Rico’s historic, and once again burgeoning, coffee industry.
The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), founded in 1970, is a public corporation responsible for stimulating, promoting and regulating the development of the tourism industry. It markets Puerto Rico as a tourism destination through advertising, public relations and promotional activities; promotes tourism among local residents; provides visitor orientation and technical assistance to investors; evaluates tourism facilities and establishes standards of quality and regulates and oversees gaming operations. PRTC has offices and representatives in the US mainland, Canada, Europe and Latin America.