Organic Agriculture in Costa Rica
Aug 12, 2013
The catchphrase ‘No Artificial Ingredients’ is commonly seen on the Costa Rica tourism website and in other various Costa Rican marketing pieces. But it’s not just another ‘slogan’ to describe the pure beauty of this country… Costa Rica truly does work hard to ensure it’s residents and those receiving its exports get nothing ‘extra’ in the mix.
As the fight against allowing Monsanto (or any of it’s subsidiaries!) rages on, the local farmers continue to push forward with their production of organically grown fruit and vegetables. (To read more about Costa Rica’s fight against GMO’s, go HERE)
Aside from tourism, farming is the backbone of Costa Rica’s economy and employment. It is a livelihood that has carried generations of Costa Ricans as well as a way to maintain nourishment within their families.
In the early 1980’s, farmers became serious about sourcing methods to plant and harvest their crops without using harsh chemicals and damaging practices. This has manifested itself into a viable and productive option to the traditional agricultural practices that utilize chemicals to fight pests and unwanted weeds. And with the rest of the world slowly recognizing the benefits associated with eating organically grown produce (at an increase of 20% per year!), Costa Rica is ahead of the curve.
With thousands of hectares dedicated to organic growing, not only does the international world benefit from chemical-free products, but also Costa Ricans, who benefit directly and indirectly through various means of employment. The main organic exports include bananas, coffee, pineapples, sugar and berries… with this list growing every year as more and more farmers jump on the organic bandwagon.
The way that the organic agricultural sector is organized also plays a big role in the prosperity of these farmers; allowing Costa Rica to play an important leadership role in Latin America’s organic realm. In addition, by providing organic certification, both the producers and the purchasers are assured of a consistent guarantee of quality. There is a level of confidence knowing that the products are not only a healthier choice, but also that they was produced with great attention paid to the responsible management of the land and fair treatment of the workers.
Canada Recognizes Costa Rica’s Efforts
Although Costa Rica’s organic products are recognized internationally, it can be an arduous and expensive process to export to certain countries. Although it’s still done, it means a more expensive product for the end-user.
Canada can now be taken off the ‘expensive end-user’ list, because in the spring of 2013, Costa Rica signed an organic food agreement with Canada, allowing all organic products to enter into Canada without requiring additional certification, thus keeping the prices down.
This is a major win-win for both Canada and Costa Rica! Not only do Canadians have access to organic products such as plantains and pineapples from Costa Rica, but feeding their families healthy, exotic food won’t leave their wallets empty. Meanwhile, Costa Rica has a huge ally in the world of exporting organic products to a country where trade was already very ‘healthy’!
Costa Rica’s abundant fresh produce markets, roadside stands and farmer’s markets are all wonderful ways to experience what this lush country has to offer, as well as an easy (and delicious!) way of supporting local farmers.
Discovering all that Costa Rica has to offer is easy with Where International. Sign up to visit on a Discovery Weekend… our developers on the Nicoya Peninsula and in the Southern Zone are excited to show you just how fun, relaxing and affordable it is to live in this paradise!