Costa Rican pineapple export hike in 2011
Costa Rica has recorded an 8% year-on-year rise in fresh pineapple export values to US$743 million in 2011, keeping its position as the world's leading shipper of the fruit, website Ticovision.com reported.
National Chamber of Pineapple Growers and Exporters (CANAPEP) president Abel Chaves, told the website it has been a positive year for the sector.
"We contributed to the development of communities where the pineapple industry is based with Corporate Social Responsibility programs and the development of Costa Rica, maintaining exponential growth compared with previous years," Chaves was quoted as saying.
His comments were echoed by Agriculture and Livestock Minister Gloria Abraham, who highlighted the dynamism of the industry.
"It's reflected in the numbers and the balances, but also in the effects of development where the pineapple sector generates jobs, wealth and opportunities for the country's farmers," she was quoted as saying.
The country's total pineapple exports surpassed the US$800 million mark, with US$63 million worth of concentrate shipments and US$19 million in juice.
The story reported the industry accounted for 27,500 direct jobs and 110,000 indirect jobs.
Addressing environmental issues
As part of the National Climate Change Strategy, the fruit industry embarked on a carbon footprint measurement scheme this year, with companies Hacienda Ojo de Agua, Piñales La Rosita, Piña Tica, Agroindustrial Bananera del Caribe and Piñera Parismina involved in these early stages.
CANAPEP has conducted environmental and health inspections around the country, and found that businesses have improved their systems in terms of water management, storage, health services and canteens, the story reported.
The chamber said more companies had sustainability policies, the provision of wells and operating permits.
"This year we conducted a tour of all pineapple farms and it has been pleasing to see significant advances in the correction on the points of improvement, which were identified in visits during 2010," CANAPEP environmental manager Carlos Acevedo.
The story reported CANAPEP estimated the 8% export growth rate would continue in 2012.
"The improvement in growing practices and a good planting program will be the keys to reaching the demands of the U.S. and European markets during 2012," Chaves told the website.
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Photo: Upala Agricola