Costa Rica recognizes first carbon neutral banana farm

March 16 , 2015

Costa Rica's first carbon neutral banana farm has been formally recognized by the country's Environment Ministry (MINAE), website Ticotimes.net reported. banana-5734_640

The company called Finca San Pablo is a medium-sized operation exporting 730,000 18-kilogram boxes of bananas annually. It is based in Siquierres, in the central part of the country.

General manager Geraldo Mora reportedly said the company wanted to go carbon neutral to help the environment and serve as an example for other firms in the country's large banana sector.

Costa Rica is one of the world's largest banana exporters, and shipped more than US$900 million worth of the fruit in 2014.

Mora said Finca San Pablo shrunk its carbon footprint mainly by reducing its use of nitrogen-based fertilizers in favor of natural ones, reducing electricity consumption in its packing facility, and improving efficiency in transporting its product to the port in Limón.

Ticotimes.net reported the 290-hectare farm also maintained a 50-hectare forest and 12-hectare forest reserve to help offset its carbon footprint.

The manager said he hoped the farm would serve as an example for the banana industry in Costa Rica, adding the industry had become more aware of its environmental impact in recent years.

The story said that beyond its own certifications, Finca San Pablo held workshops through the National Banana Corporation’s environmental commission to show other banana farms how to improve their sustainability and reduce their environmental impact.

Along with the MINAE Carbon Neutral stamp, Finca San Pablo holds certifications from Rainforest Alliance and Global G.A.P. The company does not use herbicides on its farm, according to Ticotimes.net.

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