In December of 2017 a new Aruba Gastronomic Association (AGA) Board was nominated at a Christmas luncheon. Members of the Board for 2018 include Jan van Nes, President, Vice-Chairman Carolina Merryweather, Patrick van den Berg, Treasurer and Board members Douglass Markus, Marrit Fleur and Octavio Verhelst. Founded in 1993 AGA’s objectives represent the commercial interests of its members in the broadest sense of the word. As such the Board’s mission is established and its mission is to make AGA, “the recognized voice for the restaurant industry in Aruba.”
AGA features a Dine Around program and one of the first tasks the Board enacted upon after the first meetings of 2018, were the Business Plan and the Budget. Both were approved and also seek to revise and refresh the organization with new and exciting products for both tourists and locals alike.
Aruba has over 500 restaurants and AGA has many plans including insuring restaurants are well run, are subject to higher standards, and to lobby for more updated laws including labor as well as expedite terms for permits in order to facilitate a higher culinary standard the island is pursuing. A special arrangement with the Aruba Tourism Authority is in process to secure that a Quality Seal is observed among restaurants thereby putting forward an added value package enticing more restaurants to join the Association. It is also felt that within the industry, Aruba has an over abundance of restaurants and some growth control related to trade capacity would be appropriate.
Fern Pochettino, a dedicated tourism veteran who managed and who skillfully kept AGA’s mission moving forward for the past twenty years has retired this past January and will be celebrated for all her efforts during a congratulatory ceremony in April. Fern has been replaced by Aruba Social Media specialist, Ms. Adelaida Fingal. AGA has a new office at Sun Plaza and can be reached at 699-9975 or by email; firstname.lastname@example.org