Costa Rican port strike 'a worry' for pineapple industry

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Costa Rican port strike 'a worry' for pineapple industry

Update: police have taken control of port facilities and contract workers have been employed, but strikers have threatened to continue action through roadblocks.

Costa Rica's pineapple industry has expressed concern over a strike that has paralyzed the ports of Moín and Limón, leaving fruit waiting in cargo and unable to leave the country.

Pineapple Producers and Exporters Chamber president Abel Chaves, said the blockade also caused potential problems for fruit in transit to the ports and the pineapples currently in harvesting.

"If an immediate solution is not found for this situation, in the case of pineapples and fresh fruit we would practically be putting our exports at risk for the fruit that has been harvested during this whole week," he said.

"The problem is that the ships cannot possibly wait for much time in the bay and in the end will receive instructions. Ship captains simply won't wait for the fruit.

"There is really a lot of worry in the pineapple sector for various reasons."

The strike has been led by the Atlantic Board of Port Administration and Development (Japdeva) workers, who oppose the government's decision to grant concessions for the construction of a new Caribbean dock, which will have exclusive loading and unloading for containers from Dutch company APM Terminals.

Chaves added now was a vital time for exporters even though it was a time of low production in the cycle.

"The pineapples that we have at the moment have very serious implications for growers because they are a way of recovering from the bad prices we had during the first four months of the year."

The two ports account for 70% of the country's exports.

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