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Costa Rica pineapples, worldwide delicious demand.

"Our Costa Rican company grows, packages and exports fresh pineapple to the world. We work on around 900 hectares of our own production, and approximately 1000 hectares of independent producers; which allows us to export about 6.5 million cases a year. Our destinations include Russia, Central and Southern Europe (the Mediterranean), the United States, Canada, Chile, and Central America. Our product meets the highest standards, not only do we have Global GAP, BRC, and GFS Primus Labs certifications, but also the Rain Forest Alliance certification," said Figueroa, the president of Tropicalles del Valle.

According to Figueroa, the company has specialized in providing customers with high quality pineapples with different degrees of coloration, high sugar levels, uniform size and well formed crowns, which allows them to participate in quite demanding markets. He also said that they had also developed a program to ship pineapples by air to different European countries. "At the moment, the niche we have not developed is organic production, a segment that is growing a lot in Europe and in the US. However, we are planning to start a project to develop it."

"We have an extensive crownless pineapple program for different parts of the world, which is growing in all countries year after year. We have discovered that by facilitating its cut, pineapple consumption increases. We believe that we must work on the development of peeling machines in supermarkets. This would help to increase consumption in a faster manner," he said.

"We have a production technology that allows us to produce efficiently, and a good tonnage per hectare. At the same time, our ports are so close to us that we are quite competitive in the global market, i.e. in production and in logistics. Colombia and Ecuador won't catch up with us. The medium-sized companies in this industry have as our main market Europe, as most importers, and retailers, prefer to work with this type of producer than with transnationals. That's why we have to adapt our costs to this market. At the same time Russia, Turkey, Romania and other Eastern European countries have increased their purchasing volume, allowing us to participate in these markets."

The new challenge is China; the first direct shipment to Shanghai, with an acceptable transit, has already been sent to this destination. "That will allow us to participate in this market with an excellent product. It will take some time to see the results of this new destination, which in my opinion will be a great success for Costa Rica.". For more information on how can you expand your Agribusiness from or to Latin America, ask FGH´s International Agribusiness, Latin America's leading Agribusiness Consulting firm.

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