With more than 200 entrepreneurs, independents, organized groups, associations, cooperatives and collectives of artisan people, from 64 cantons of the country, the 8th edition of the Costa Rican “Gustico” Fair was held from March 29th to 31st, 2019.

The activity, which took place this year at the National Stadium, included sections of Agribusiness in which young people under 35 participated in areas such as crafts, rural tourism, gastronomy, to name a few. In addition, as a novelty, this edition was given a space relevant to innovation. For example, visitors could find pre-mixes, beeswax wrappers, buffalo sausages, among others.

Also, in this exhibition of the best of our rural world, we were able to acquire exotic, traditional products of agricultural origin, such as gourmet cheeses, products based on goat’s milk, gluten-free products, healthy snacks, gourmet coffee, organic and traditional, vegan ice cream, jams, hot sauces, handmade chocolates, personal care products, costume jewelry, among others.

Inauguration of the 8th Costa Rican “Gustico” Fair by President Carlos Alvarado

The “Gustico” is much more than a fair. The organization starts a year before, with the selection of the participating producers and their preparation. Participants receive training and technical assistance on topics such as Food Handling, Good Manufacturing Practices, Labeling, Innovation, and Customer Service.

In general, its objective is to promote the commercialization of products and services with added value, informing SMEs that represent the best quality of the national offer and support companies in rural areas in this process, as well as recovering traditions and cultural elements linked to the consumption of these products.

During the 1st day of the fair, companies had the opportunity to participate in business meetings, in which potential buyers will participate, among them, the Institutional Supply Program (PAI), of the National Production Council; supermarket chains and macrobiotics; restaurants and cafeterias associated with the Costa Rican Chamber of Restaurants and Allies, CACORE; travel agencies and tour operators; souvenir shops, and other specialized stores.

Government representative Renato Alvarado Rivera, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, highlighted the opportunity that “Gustico” represents for many producing families. “In its 8th edition, this Fair continues to represent for producers an opportunity to publicize their ventures and generate chains that allow them to position themselves in the market. This year an important factor in the processes of training and evaluation of the participants was innovation, that is why those who visit the Fair are going to find very innovative products and ventures, “he said.

On the other hand, this initiative is led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. Complementarily, it has the collaboration of the institutions of the Agricultural Sector, FITTACORI, MICITT, INA, Ministry of Culture and Youth, CNP, the University of Costa Rica through the Center National High Technology and Food Technology Research Center, INAMU, as well as private companies, international organizations and sponsors: National Bank of Costa Rica, INDER, Distincomer, Dos Pinos, and the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO).