When the first Gourmet app is ready for release, restaurants will get the go-ahead
BARCAS, Venezuela — With the country’s economy in crisis and the number of Venezuelans on food stamps at a record high, the government has set a new deadline for businesses and entrepreneurs to launch new products.
In the coming weeks, the socialist government will give companies a month to get approval from the government and state bodies to create and sell new products that have been approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, according to an official with Venezuela’s Ministry of Food.
They are required to provide a product that is no more than three times the price of what it is on the market.
Businesses will then have to demonstrate their product has the potential to become a mainstay of the local economy, the official said.
The government is looking to capitalize on the shortages and high unemployment, which has reached over 90 percent, with the creation of food products that are accessible to the majority of the population, said Elisa Martínez, director of the Center for Social Research at the National Autonomous University of Venezuela.
She said the government is also encouraging businesses to use technology to improve their products.
Many of the government’s products have not been approved yet because of technical issues or are too expensive, she said.
Some of the food items have been in the works for more than a decade.
For now, the Government of President Nicolás Maduro has set out the goal of creating an industry that will be able to support the Venezuelan people’s needs for more years to come, said the official.
He said that with a minimum of government support, more than 20,000 new products are expected to be launched over the next few months, mostly from small and medium-sized businesses.
But they are not expected to hit the market until the end of 2019, when they will have to be approved by state bodies.