In recent years, since new sweeter varieties have become commercialised, pineapples have increasingly been seen by producers as a profitable alternative to bananas, and the world pineapple market has expanded rapidly with production increasing by nearly 50% since 1998. This is in part due the popularity of new 'Sweet' or 'Gold' pineapple variety which is bigger, has a high sugar content, appealing taste and colour, and is consistent in quality. This variety has sold well since Del Monte launched the first ‘Gold’ pineapple on our supermarket shelves in 1992. The other major fruit companies followed suit.
Most exported pineapples are grown by banana producing companies, often on former banana plantations, employing the same workers and using the same transport and distribution networks. Large-scale pineapple production is at least as environmentally damaging as banana production and sadly the social and economic difficulties faced by workers are much the same.
A Consumers International (CI) film made in collaboration with The Guardian and based on research carried out by Banana Link investigates working conditions in the pineapple industry and its impact on communities and the environment in Costa Rica. See below to watch the film Pineapples: Luxury fruit at what price?
Download The story behind the pineapples sold on our supermarket shelves written by Banana Link on behalf of Consumers International.
Read The Guardian Weekend magazine feature Bitter fruit: The truth about supermarket pineapple.
Two years on, the investigation into the pineapple industry in Costa Rica is showing some signs of progress. Read the report by Consumers International: Pineapples: The true price of luxury fruit revisited.