Even though the natural peak of Costa Rica's pineapple production occurs between May and June, the country has started to schedule high volumes of production between the end of October and the first half of November in recent times, as a result of the increase in demand due to the end of the year festivities.
"There is an increase in shipments between week 46 to 49, but I think the increase hasn't been as high as in the past year," said Christian Herrera León, head of the National Chamber of Pineapple Producers and Exporters, CANAPEP.
MD2 pineapple cultivation
According to information provided by the CANAPEP, pineapple trade has stabilized and the market is showing signs of maturity. The scheduling of this trading produces lower volatility, unlike in previous seasons.
"Last year, Costa Rica exported about 160 million cases of pineapple and our goal for 2014 is to increase exports by 10%," said Herrera.
Costa Rica has 45,000 acres of MD2 pineapple and it's the world's largest exporter of this crop.
Impact of the port strike
The port strike in El Limon, the country's main port, lasted fifteen days and, even though there has been no solution to the conflict, it was lifted on November 6 after the government promised not to punish the strikers financially.
"The sector welcomes and supports the government's determination to allow exports. The port was blocked for only 9 hours which didn't cause much chaos. However, any slight delay in the pineapple sector's normal flow can cause a big problem."
According to Christian, although there was no loss of fruit, various operations couldn't be carried out because of the uncertainty that the situation generated.
Last October, we addressed the complex conflict between the pineapple sector and environmental groups, in which the Government of Costa Rica didn't seem to have decisive regulation and control, in the article "Costa Rican pineapples: Ecological tragedy or political hostage?"
"We have clarified many things and relevance of the publication in FreshPlaza helped us shed light on the situation. The Deputy Minister of Environment understood that there was a series of gray areas and contradictions in the rules to follow, which negatively affected the productive sector. Now the government is drafting new clearer regulations for the inspection procedures and the handling of complaints in the environmental court," Herrera said.
The President of CANAPEP is satisfied with the position of the new government. According to him, it is much more responsive to the problems of the sector and he hopes that this is the beginning of a new stage that favours pineapple producers and environmental care.
Christian Herrera LeónCANAPEPcherrera@canapep.com