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Costa Rica: Industry has less effect on fresh pineapple market

“Over the last two years the industry had a major effect on the Costa Rican pineapple sector. High volumes were used for the processed industry. Nowadays, the Philippines has recovered in this aspect with the result that less Costa Rican fruit is being used for industrial purposes. Moreover, the operational costs are quite high in Costa Rica, which pushes up the prices for the processed fruits. Therefore, other countries can offer their processed fruit at much lower prices”, says Sonia Alvarado from Hispacori in Costa Rica.

At this moment Costa Rica has a low supply of fresh pineapple, which is due to the weather conditions that have a big effect on production. “There is less volume because of delays that are caused by the lack of sunlight during this period. The European market is very slow at the moment, because of the seasonal fruit that is available. Importers are buying our fruit, but only in small quantities.”

Sonia hopes that from next month on the supply will increase. “If processed fruit isn't bought, we can get more volumes to use for the fresh market and export. At this moment we don't need higher volumes, but we expect that we can offer higher volumes in a few weeks. We believe that the second half year can be good or at least much better. We are constantly improving and get the certifications that are needed, such as rainforest, Global GAP, and Fairtrade. In this way we can add value to the fruits we are offering.”

Hispacori offers both organic and conventional pineapples. Sonia: “I believe people get more aware of health and everything that is related to this. Therefore, the market for organic pineapple is increasing. Yet not tremendously, because the cost of organic is much higher compared to conventional pineapple. However, there is a part of the market that is investing in this kind of fruit.”

“There are some markets that prefer crownless pineapples, which we can offer for 6 years. The advantage of importing crownless, is mainly that each box includes two more pieces. The box of crownless pineapples is about 14 kilos, compared to 12 kilos if the crown is still on. This means more fruit fits in a container. Even though, the prices of crownless pineapples are higher, the costs will be lower for the importer if they import big quantities”, explains Sonia.

Costa Rica may start exporting pineapples to China. “We are not exporting to China yet, because we are just starting as a country with export to China. We are trying to get some clients, because the shipping lines offer good transit times of 28 days. However, the new markets for us are some parts of Russia, Ukraine and Arabic countries. As the Rotterdam port is very saturated with a lot of different fruit, it's always interesting to start exporting to new countries.”

According to Sonia the Costa Rica pineapples are very well known because of their quality. “There is always competition from for example Panama, Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia. However, we benefit from our demographic position and good weather circumstances, which will positively affect the quality of our fruit. It's good to have some competition, as it motivates us to keep improving and to stay as a top supplier”, concludes Sonia.

For more information:
Sonia Alvarado
Costa Rica
T: 506 2283 4340
E: salvarado@hispacori.com

Publication date: 7/17/2017
Author: Kelly den Herder
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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