29 June 2011, San José
In the wake of continuing criticism of the environmental and social impacts of Costa Rica's pineapple boom, the Vice-Presidency and several government ministries have launched a National Platform for Responsible Pineapple Production and Trade. It has the support of the United Nations Development Programme's Green Commodities Facility and Dutch Inter-Church Development Agency ICCO.
Growers and exporters, a global retailer, certifying bodies and trade union representatives were present at the launch in San José on Monday. The initial focus is on the environmental improvements that can be made by growers, although the brief for this two year programme of multi-stakeholder discussion and action includes social and labour issues.
“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,” said Vice-president Luis Liberman.
“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.”
See video: National Platform for the Responsible Trade and Production of Pineapple in Costa Rica below