Ecopiñas, Costa Rica
Hi, I'm Manrique Kopper and I grow organic pineapples in Costa Rica. Our company, Ecopiñas del Arenal, is located in Northern Costa Rica (Muelle, San Carlos) in the vicinity of the imposing and active Arenal Volcano. The mission of the company (since the farm was established in 2008) is to produce high-quality organic pineapples, protecting the environment, advancing biodiversity, and contributing to the communities in which it operates.
The farm operates on land that was predominantly pasture areas before being planted with pineapples. The land is rented from local land holders who are key members of the surrounding community and important stakeholders for the organic operation, as well as stewards for their land.
Ecopiñas (part of Dole Fresh Fruit International) currently has a production area of 100 hectares of organic pineapples. Non-cultivated areas, such as wetlands and forest areas, represent 40 % of the total area, and are protected under Costa Rican legislation. The farm has established buffer zones around these areas, as well as along creeks and streams which have been planted with local tree species. Among these is the Mountain Almond which is a key habitat for the highly endangered Green Parrot (for more information read the enclosed story).
Some of the farm’s unique agricultural practices include a soil conservation and management plan, an on-farm composting facility using pineapple crowns as one of the main inputs, and a research department to study plant nutrition and production and the use of effective microorganisms in compost and soil.