Intern: Melanie Raffaella Mendoza Baez, Agribusiness Management.
Melanie did her internship at the Plasencia Cigars Company located at El Paraiso, Honduras and Estelí, Nicaragua. The company manufactures cigars that are almost entirely destined for export to countries around the world. The company has undertaken several research projects to improve its crop. The process of creating one single cigar includes 439 individual steps, from the seed stage through to when it reaches the consumer´s lips. This company produces the only organic cigars in the world.
In addition to time in the fields learning tobacco harvesting and training in the traditional 439 steps of cigar production, Melanie participated in the development of a profitability study and a product comparison study.
The profitability and product comparison studies were intended to help determine a process for cost setting and thereby establishing a market price for the organic cigars, taking into consideration organic cigars’ strengths and weaknesses when compared to traditional cigars. To develop this research, Melanie collected data on all the field processes and compared it to the price of products used in the process of growing traditional and organic tobacco.
In addition to conducting the research, she had the opportunity to be part of the company´s operations while at the same time acquiring experience in the professional world, learning from both in an efficient way.