Briony Dunmore reported back on her fact finding mission to this beautiful country.
“We already supply our New Zealand customers with pineapples from our Ecuadorian plantation so in order to protect that relationship, we needed to identify other sources for this popular fruit.
“Finding a plantation that met with BanaBay’s exceptional quality standards required a lot of research beforehand. Then once we had an idea of where to look, we hit the trail to the Northern regions of Costa Rica exploring San Carlos, Upala and Alajuela visiting some of the most prestigious and experienced pineapple producers.
“Our signature bananas have been grown on family owned plantations for the last three decades so we were particularly drawn to growers who have had the business passed down in the family and those with over 30 years experience.
“In terms of fruit, we were after new suppliers of crownless and crowned MD-2 pineapples in sizes 5-8 so that we can achieve the right number of pieces per box depending on what the customer wants.
“To judge each pineapple operation, our technical manager attended and inspected all the quality processes; specifically the packing house, any accreditations relating to sustainable farming practices such as Global Gap and the fruit itself in terms of brix levels and aesthetics.
“It was easy to see how the climate in this green, lush paradise gives rise to fruit of such wonderful sweetness and we are very hopeful we can start customer trials and get pineapples ‘on the water’, from the port at Limon in the next fortnight or so.