PINDECO. Pineapple Development Corporation-Del Monte, Costa Rica


Large scale pineapple production in Costa Rica began in the late eighties in the south of the country, in Buenos Aires de Puntarenas, carried out by the company Pindeco S.A., a subsidiary of Del Monte. This company started using technology to increase productivity, and developed a production system dependent on chemical inputs, which includes the use of herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and fertilizers, in order to induce flowering and regulate plant harvest. Industrial complexes are also installed for the collection and packaging of the product, which drastically changed the landscape.

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Basic Data
NamePINDECO. Pineapple Development Corporation-Del Monte, Costa Rica
CountryCosta Rica
SiteBuenos Aires
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Deforestation
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsPINDECO plays a significant role in the economy of the region and the country, at the time of the conflict controlling 50% of the entire Costa Rican pineapple production. Of the exports of 10 million boxes of pineapples a year, 40% go to Europe and 60% to the US (June 2000). The Buenos Aires plantation is an important part of the PINDECO operation in the country.

For Costa Rica, pineapple production: 364200 tones (in 1995).

The rapid increase in pineapple cultivation in new areas in Costa Rica (2000, 12,500 ha, in 2007, 40,000 ha).

Pineapple exports in 2010 generated $ 673 million.

5000 direct jobs, 3000 indirect jobs (2011).
Project Area (in hectares)6700
Level of Investment (in USD)47000000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population100000
Start Date1990
Company Names or State EnterprisesPineapple Development Corporation (PINDECO) from United States of America
Relevant government actorsForest Management Department, Ministery of Environment, Energy and Seas of Costa Rica., Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Health.
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersStruggle against Pindeco (FLP, Frente de Lucha por Pindeco)., EMAÚS forum., FRENASAPP, National Front Sectors Affected by Pineapple Production (Frente Nacional de Sectores Afectados por la Producción Piñera)., Environmental Association for the Humid Tropics., CEDARENA, Environmental and Natural Resources Center, Universidad de Costa Rica
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
OtherPropagation of the stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans), it affects livestock.

Pineapple production pollutes the drinking water.
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases
OtherRespiratory diseases and pregnancy problems among workers
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood
OtherThere are reprisals against workers who want to unionize.

Workers are fired within three months after recruitment, periods where no one can enjoy its guarantees.

Devaluation of land and homes neighboring pineapple plantations
Project StatusIn operation
Development of AlternativesDiversify crop species, to reduce the vulnerability of plantations to pests and climatic changes or market changes.

discuss plans and policies in a coordinated and participatory among all actors involved (government, company, people, workers, ...).

PINDECO must be invest in the basins of the generation sources of water used for irrigation and ICAA to supply drinking water to a growing population, product of labor demand of the firm; should be part of environmental management and corporate social responsibility (CSR) .
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The government should work towards a genuine and integral respect to labour and environmental laws of the country and fight for the rights of the residents of the region. The social movements lead important actions in the field of complaints about occupational health issues, violate of farm worker rights and environmental impact on communities and natural resources.
Sources and Materials

Environmental Law,Nº 7554, november 13, 1995.

General Health Law, Nº7600 may 2, 1996.

Water Law,Nº5516 may 2, 1974.

Forestal Law,Nº 7575 february 5, 1996.

Wildlife Conservation Law, Nº7317 october 21, 1992, reformed by Nº7788 april 30, 1998.

General Regulation on procedures for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Decree Nº 31849 may 24, 2004.

Soil Conservation and Management law.


González, Guillermo Acuña. 2004. Diagnostico situación y condiciones de la agroindustria piñera en Costa Rica. s.l. : ASEPROLA, Asociación Servicios De Promocion Laboral.
[click to view]

Gabriela Cuadrado Quesada y Soledad Castro Vargas, (CEDARENA y FRENASAPP), 2009, Costa Rica: La expansión del monocultivo de piña en detrimento de los derechos humanos, Foodfirst Information and Action Network
[click to view]

Bergen, Javiera Aravena. 2005. La expansión piñera en Costa Rica. La realidad de los perdedores de la agroindustria exportadora de la piña. s.l. : COECOCeiba-Amigos de la Tierra Costa Rica.
[click to view]

Revista mensual sobre la actualidad ambiental, Ambientico, 2006, Piña en Costa Rica: producción y ambiente
[click to view]

Gabriel Quijandría, Javier Berrocal y Lawrence Pratt, 1997, La Industria de la Piña en Costa Rica. Análisis de Sostenibilidad
[click to view]

Bonatti, J., C. Borge, B. Herrera, P. Paaby. 2005. Efectos ecológicos del cultivo de la piña en la cuenca media del Río General-Térraba de Costa Rica. Informe Técnico No. 4. Elaborado por SEDER para TNC. San José, Costa Rica.
[click to view]

Gonzalo Cortés Enríquez, 1994, Atlas agropecuario de Costa Rica


Kioscos Ambientales. Universidad de Costa Rica
[click to view]

Social Watch, El amargo sabor de la piña. 2012. Guacimo
[click to view]

[click to view]

Nacion, Ananá Republic, El sector piñero y el Gobierno deben explicaciones a la sociedad costarricense
[click to view]

Costa Rica: The Pineapple Development Corporation (PINDECO); the treatment of union activists and union attempts to organize a union by PINDECO and authorities in Buenos Aires province (1999 to 2002)
[click to view]


Planta para jugo de piña
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La Nacion

La piña: cultivo importante para el país
[click to view]

El Financiero

Del Monte obtendrá más jugo de la piña

Planta estará en finca de Buenos Aires
[click to view]


Anneth Cubillio Anguro - Trabajadora piñera de Costa Rica, Pindeco (Del Monte)
[click to view]

Media Links

"Expansión piñera en Costa Rica: ¿hasta dónde hay campo?"

Era Verde
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorNeus Vinyet
Last update22/03/2019