Vista Hermosa: Production, sustainability and gastronomy
Finca Vista Hermosa is committed to closed cycle production, from sustainability and agroecology, to services such as gastronomy and home deliveries, with the help of the Mandao enterprise, which it joined recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As an added value, the farm is almost autonomous in terms of its inputs. This sovereignty, according to project coordinator Raúl Relova, reaches around 70%, and includes pasture and fodder, grown on the 67 hectares that serve as food for cows, bulls, goats, pigs, rabbits and poultry.
The area, located in Bacuranao, in the Havana municipality of Guanabacoa, grows five varieties of sugarcane, King Grass and other high-protein plants. It also uses the whey from the cheeses produced on the farm and the food waste from each of the production processes to feed the pigs.
“We maintain a constant work rhythm: 7 days a week, 365 days a year, because milking cows and goats is a daily routine. This involves processing and obtaining milk derivatives and the delivery of this input. The day starts at 6 a.m. and is divided into shifts,” Raúl explained.
Traditionally, the farm’s gastronomic offerings included breakfast on weekends and lunch and dinner the rest of the week. In Raúl’s opinion, this productive dynamic respects the maintenance and conservation periods of the facilities.
That is why the farm’s staff – about 50 people from a variety of trades and professions – comprises qualified technicians, engineers, investment process specialists, electricians, mechanics and people in charge of the irrigation systems, milking and the processing center.
Although most of the workers have extensive experience, another strength of the space is the possibility of training in research centers and courses associated with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
“We are a project focused on development in areas such as quality, safety, introduction of new varieties of cheese, lunchmeat and supply lines. We have know-how acquired through friends from Italy for the production of artisan cheeses, knowledge adapted to the conditions and raw materials present in Cuba,” Raúl commented.
Among the peculiarities of the farm, he mentions the use of renewable energy and the creation of a biodigester to generate energy with the use of manure. This is of major help in view of power cuts and the need to conserve inputs.
Vista Hermosa assumes two fundamental lines: the state sector with orders of milk and meat in considerable volumes for social welfare, and a second destined to the alternative and growing private market. An example of this are negotiations with hotel chains such as Meliá and Iberostar that have shown interest in the farm’s artisan cheeses.
Spices, vegetables, yogurt, lunchmeats, croquettes and hamburgers are products offered on the farm and sold through the use of social networks such as WhatsApp, especially since the beginning of the pandemic due to the mobility restrictions and the closure of associated sites.
A decade ago, Finca Vista Hermosa was solely dedicated to traditional milk and meat production. After the creation of the Mediterráneo Habana restaurant, the idea arose to provide the supplies for this gastronomic facility, in terms of both quantity and quality.
“We can categorize ourselves as a happy and satisfactory venture, based on the achievement of proposed goals and interesting economic activity. We are currently organizing a local development project with the government of Guanabacoa and state enterprises, approved last February and pending execution,” Raúl concluded.