(CORAL GABLES, Fla.) – On January 29th, 2020, Fyffes pineapple farm in Costa Rica, ANEXCO, was granted the Sustainable Agriculture Standard Certification by Rainforest Alliance for the farm’s sustainable practices. Approximately 1,100 workers, 8 million boxes of pineapples, 3,239 hectares of farmland and protected forest areas are now RFA-certified.
The Sustainable Agriculture Standard certification is rooted in four key sustainability principles: effective planning and management systems, biodiversity conservation, natural resource conservation, and improved livelihoods. ANEXCO received RFA’s certification after a rigorous process of implementation and internal evaluation, followed by an external audit and validation conducted by CERES certification body.
Fyffes acquired ANEXCO in 2008 and through the years it has implemented important sustainable initiatives to continuously improve the standards for its workers, communities, and environment. Its workers are represented by a permanent committee and several of them are members of multiple unions. The farm has received recognition for its health and safety management systems and is currently rolling out a gender equality pilot program. Transportation for farm workers is provided to a wide network of communities, and scholarships and school materials are provided to local children. These initiatives have had a positive impact on farm workers and the community, yet ANEXCO doesn’t want to stop there and aims to continue to evolve and improve its standards.
ANEXCO has a total farm area of 3,239 hectares and has implemented reforestation programs throughout the years to offset its carbon footprint. 1,073 hectares of land within the farm are in conservation today, which provide a beautiful natural habitat for an inventory of 487 species of animals and plants.
In 2017, ANEXCO ranked first on the National Chamber of Pineapple Exporters and Producers (CANAPEP) assessment for its compliance on strict environmental and social legislation in Costa Rica. Last year, the farm inaugurated a state-of-the-art pineapple packing house which led ANEXCO to win the Grand Exporter Award from the Chamber of Exportation Costa Rica (CADEXCO).
Wolter Van Der Kooij, Fyffes General Manager for Pineapples, says: “Fyffes is extremely proud of what our team at the ANEXCO farm in Costa Rica has achieved. The Rainforest Alliance certification reconfirms our high level of social compliance and environmental commitment. As we look towards the future, our ambition is to continue to improve the farm for its workers, its community and local natural habitat.”
Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization that aims to protect forests, improve the livelihoods of farmers and forest communities, promote their human rights, and help them mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis. The organization’s Sustainable Agriculture Standard sets out comprehensive environmental, social, and economic guidelines in order to certify cattle and crop farms around the world that promote sustainability.
Fyffes principles and practices align to those of the RFA; their certification is an exceptional recognition for ANEXCO, its workers and the community in Costa Rica, and another step forward towards a global sustainable future.
Fyffes is one of the largest and oldest tropical produce importers and distributors. With an infrastructure that reaches across the globe, Fyffes is truly an international player, involved in the production, procurement, shipping, ripening, distribution and marketing of bananas, pineapples, melons and more recently mushrooms. Since 1888, Fyffes has been committed to bringing the world the highest quality products, inspiring people to feel excitement about our brands and making a positive difference for our growers and farmers, our customers and the environment. Today, Fyffes is the largest importer of bananas in Europe and the No. 1 importer of off-shore melons in North America. In addition to tropical fruit, Fyffes is the third largest producer of mushrooms in North America. Discover more at Fyffes.com.