The Prickly Pickle with Organic Pineapples
Your organic pineapple may come at a higher cost than just the price.
Organic pineapples exported to the US and some European countries from Costa Rica, a country that produces much of the world's pineapples, may not be organic at all following allegations of fraudulent practices by three companies in Costa Rica.
The companies are alleged to be selling non-organic pineapples as organic, an action that can produce a huge profit (conventional pineapples can yield $7000/ha, while organic can reach as much as $45,000/ha) while misleading consumers.
The Costa Rican government is not being seen as doing enough to combat the fraud that has already cost 500 farmers of organic pineapple their jobs. Far from being the first time that fraud has been alleged, 2014 saw irregular exports of pineapples from Costa Rica, and a 2016 meeting between US authorities and Costa Rican producers highlighted concerns of a possible fraud.
So what is the solution to organic fraud such as this?
With consumers expecting a level of standards in regards to organic produce, and often willing to pay a much higher price at the greengrocers for the opportunity, the importance of organic verification and supply chain diligence carries an impact all the way through from the grower to the supplier and then to the consumers.
Ensuring that there are measurements in place for certifying the organic status of a product, such as isotope testing, means that a supply chain can be strengthened against instances of fraud.
For more information about the testing of organic produce, please contact us.