29 July 2011, London
Press release from Consumers International: The Costa Rican government recently launched the National Platform for Responsible Pineapple Production and Trade following criticism of the industry's environmental and social impacts. It is hoped that this will provide a space for meaningful dialogue between plantation owners and trade unions.
Pineapple production in Costa Rica has experienced a boom in recent years but this has had serious consequences for people and the environment in many areas of the country. Consumers International investigated these issues in the Pineapples: Luxury Fruit at What Price? documentary, finding that poor labour relations were a major contributing factor to the problems facing the industry.
In bringing together all actors in the supply chain, the new Platform's self-professed aim is to facilitate a multi-stakeholder dialogue around the common purpose of defining and achieving a responsible model for pineapple production in Costa Rica. The emphasis is currently on environmental aspects, but will be expanded to take social conditions into account.
The Platform's launch event was attended by global retailers, growers, exporters, certifying bodies and trade unions. In a move particularly welcomed by the labour movement and civil society, the President of CANAPEP, the producers association, acknowledged the need to include trade unions in the process.
Justin Macmullan, CI Head of Campaigns, said: "Despite the initial focus on environmental issues, CI welcomes the new Platform, and is especially heartened by the inclusion of unions in this dialogue. CI will continue to support participation of trade unions in the platform and call for greater prominence to labour rights issues on the agenda."
For more on Consumers International work on pineapples, see www.consumersinternational.org.