COSTA RICA – The banana industry in Costa Rica celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Banana Environmental Commission (CAB) by committing to cultivating bananas in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Established in 1992, CAB is a public-private alliance between producers, workers, and the government, committed to working in a more harmonious way with nature.
The commission aims to achieve two goals by setting targets on water and agrochemical usage, recycling, and land conservation, among other environmental concerns.
“Thirty years ago, Costa Rica made a commitment to conserve and respect the environment, and the subsequent policies have had a significant impact on our banana farming practices,” explains Jorge Sauma, the general manager of Corbana, the national banana corporation.
“Today, 100% of the plastic used for production is recycled. Water usage at packing plants has been reduced by 80-90%, and nearly 70% of our farms are carbon neutral.”
The aim, he says, is to reach 100% in the next few years, with more than 14,500 hectares of land allocated as reserves and protected forests by the banana industry.
Twelve pledges were outlined in the new environmental commitment to further enhance the environmentally sound production of the fruit.
This news comes days after Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. released its 2022 Sustainability Report, reaffirming its steadfast commitment to conserving the planet.
The produce company cited in the report that the launch of its first certified carbon-neutral pineapple, which is grown exclusively in Costa Rica, as “an unprecedented success.”
Launched in 2022, the Pineapple is a limited availability product line extension from the Del Monte Gold, HoneyGlow, and Del Monte “The Original” pineapple varieties.
These varieties have been certified as sustainably grown by the third-party certification body, SCS Global Services.
According to SCS, the company’s 8,000+ hectare forest, which contains approximately five million trees, neutralizes emissions produced by the Del Monte Zero pineapple from farm to market, resulting in a net zero carbon footprint.
“As a global agribusiness, sustainability is ingrained in our identity, and we recognize the urgency of the action needed to further strengthen our operations in the face of climate change,” said Hans Sauter, Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President of R&D and Agricultural Services at Fresh Del Monte.
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