Local February 19, 2015 | 9:25 am

Environmentalists halt charcoal sales in supermarkets

Santo Domingo.- The Grupo Jaragua conservation organization on Tuesday criticized the Environment Ministry for issuing permits to make and export charcoal, which even major supermarket chains now sell.

Jaragua Group president Yolanda Leon said supermarkets sell the charcoal brand Carbon Candelón, which she affirms isn’t sustainably produced by the company Abanillo, which also exports another brand.

Quoted by diariolibre.com, the environmentalist said she visited in December Abanillo charcoal plant owner Rafael Alvarez Castro in Juancho, Pedernales, where he showed permits signed by Forestry Deputy Minister Manuel Serrano, for "the use of 257,237 trees at the Mapioró section of Enriquillo, Barahona.

The documents shown as proof of the permits in December had expired, revealing a lack of control by Environment authorities to enforce its own regulations, Leon said.

The actions by the Jaragua Group prompted Jumbo supermarkets to halt the sale of Candelón. “Once they learned of the facts, José Miguel Gonzalez Cuadra, president of CCN (supermarket chain) said the commercial relations with this supplier were definitively suspended.”

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