Costa Rica: Pineapple companies accept dialogue with trade unions

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After months of discussions with the trade unions that organise workers in Costa Rica’s pineapple plantations, the National Platform for Responsible Pineapple Production and Trade is to create a Working Group to address the long-standing labour issues that have plagued the industry. Costa Rica supplies three quarters of pineapples sold in Europe and in 2010 industry conditions were exposed by Consumers International.

National and multinational employers have finally agreed to a proposal from the Costa Rican Deputy Labour Minister to include the trade unions in work to try and improve social and labour conditions in pineapple production. The Working Group is to be facilitated by a specialist in social dialogue from the International Labour Organisation’s regional office.

The Platform, launched in June 2011, involves government, pineapple producers, retailers and civil society, and is already working on soil conservation, economic incentives for sustainable production and legislative standards. It is part of the United Nations Development Programme’s Green Commodities Facility and is funded by ICCO, the Dutch inter-church NGO.

Click here for more information on the Platform and the Green Commodities Facility.