Forty-five smallholder pineapple farmers in Rusitu Valley, Chipinge, have received a major boost through the organic certification of their pineapples by EcoCert. The Ecocert Organic Standard is an independent French body for organic inspection and certification, performing quality control by ensuring that all product specifications and production procedures are strictly adhered to.
This attainment of the organic certification is an important milestone in reaching the lucrative organic fruit market, especially in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, and other emerging markets such as United Arab Emirates.
Through the organic standard, smallholder pineapple farmers operating under Rusitu Valley Fruit Growers and Marketing Trust (RVFGMT), will unlock access to the global pineapple market, which has grown from US$2,25 billion in 2011 to US$2,6 billion in 2019.
With the organic standard, the rural smallholder farmers will be able to fetch as much as 3o percent premium on their produce in most supermarkets in Europe. According to an article on herald.co.zw¸ this will improve their returns as well as boost their livelihoods from producing this niche product.