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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Supermarket chain to release study focused on energy costs in food sector

Economist José Caraballo Cueto

By The Star Staff

The supermarket chain Selectos will release on Friday a study commissioned by economist José Caraballo Cueto, which measured the impact of current and future energy costs on food and the commercial sector in Puerto Rico, Selectos Executive Director Mayreg Rodríguez said Tuesday.

The findings of the study “Impact of Energy Costs on Puerto Rico’s Trade” will also be analyzed by a panel of experts on energy and food security issues during the company’s 30th annual convention.

“In our interest to contribute to improving food security in Puerto Rico, we wanted to commission a study that would measure what we perceive in our stores about the high impact of the cost of energy on the food sector to contribute to the country’s discussion and the search for solutions,” Rodríguez said.

Rodríguez noted that Caraballo Cueto in his research made the correlation between Puerto Rico’s energy cost and retail sales, the price of refrigerated products and that of meat and seafood in general.

Caraballo Cueto, a professor at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Río Piedras Campus, contemplated not only the current scenario of energy costs in commerce and food, but also the future tax increases that are projected in the debt adjustment plan of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which is in federal bankruptcy court for consideration.

A forum to discuss the results of the study will be composed of Caraballo Cueto; Dr. David Sotomayor, a soil science professor at the UPR the Mayagüez Campus; engineer Johann Gathmann, a representative of the Green Building Council; and Ariel Torres, chairman of the Supermercados Selectos board of directors.

“The findings we will present are really impactful for our sector and food security,” Rodríguez said.

Caraballo Cueto added: “We can already say that the results show that the energy cost for the commercial sector of Puerto Rico is the second highest when compared to the commercial cost in the states.”

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