Costa Rica is amongst the world´s biggest exporters of pineapples. Particularly in the northern and Atlantic regions of the country, thousands of smallholder farmers earn their livelihoods farming this crop. The rapid expansion of this sector had important negative environmental and social impacts that called on the government to take bold actions to transform the sector and achieve healthy and sustainably produced pineapples.
In 2009, the Costa Rica pineapple sector was at a critical point, with continous protests against the expansion of pineapple production due to the use of pesticides and herbicides that let to contaminated water supplies. Furthermore, adverse labour practices and restriction of union activity characterized many pineapple plantations.
Led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment and facilitated by the Green Commodities Programme, the National Initiative for Sustainable Pineapple Production (INSP) was established in 2011 as the result of a collaborative dialogue process with more than 50 institutions and 1,000 participants. INSP creates spaces for national dialogue and transparency in the main regions where pineapple production is concentrated.
As a result of this democratic dialogue, a pioneering Action Plan for Strengthening Reponsible Production and Trade of Pineapple was made official through a Presidential and inter-Ministerial Decree and is now underway. A high-level monitoring committee made-up of government, civil society and business representatives was set up to oversee its implementation.
With 11 lines of action, this ambitious plan tackles the root causes of issues such as dangerous chemicals seeping into waterways, labour rights and other social and environmental challenges preventing the pineapple sector from being sustainable. Boosting support to farmers through training and financial incentives is also a key aspect of this Action Plan.
Learn more about the work of the Green Commodities Programme in Costa Rica in the 10th Year Anniversary At-A-Glance Country Guide.