Costa Rica launches responsible pineapple production scheme
European consumer pressure has pushed the Costa Rican government to take action against the pineapple industry's environmental degradation from pesticide use, website Elpais.cr reported.
In response to global criticism, Vice President Luis Liberman has launched the 'National Platform for Responsible Pineapple Production and Trade in Costa Rica', in conjunction with several government ministries, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Interchurch Organisation (ICCO) from the Netherlands.
While the new platform comes as an obvious concession of serious problems, Costa Rican authorities have not officially recognized the environmental damages the pineapple industry has caused, while also ignoring complaints from Spain, Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, the story reported.
Liberman told the newspaper the new platform would help growers make the most of the opportunities available in the pineapple industry.
"We are developing this project to implement a pineapple production and trade model that allows Costa Rica to extend its competitive advantage in this activity, not just through increasing agricultural productivity but also through better environmental performance," he was quoted as saying.
"Costa Rica is now a leader not only in agricultural trade but also in the design and implementation of environmental protection. Over the last 30 years our society has fully ascribed to the fact environmental protection goes beyond simple conservation and constitutes a social, economic and ethical demand."
He told the newspaper the platform would involve dialogue between pineapple producers and exporters, communities and public institutions, with the aim of promoting research and environmental protection.
Environmentalist Flora Fernández said Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla had still not responded to questions over the extent of environmental damages as a result of pineapple production.
"The agrochemicals and pesticides, especially bromacil, which are used are contaminating the groundwater. That is what's left for the country with pineapple production."
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