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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
Name of conflict:PINDECO. Pineapple Development Corporation-Del Monte, Costa Rica
Country:Costa Rica
State or province:Puntarenas
Location of conflict:Buenos 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:Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Project Details and Actors
Project details

PINDECO 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.

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Project area:6700
Level of Investment for the conflictive project47000000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:100000
Start of the conflict:1990
Company names or state enterprises:Pineapple Development Corporation (PINDECO) from United States of America
Relevant government actors:Forest Management Department, Ministery of Environment, Energy and Seas of Costa Rica., Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Health.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Struggle 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
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization 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
Other Environmental impactsPropagation 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
Other Health impactsRespiratory diseases and pregnancy problems among workers
Socio-economical 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
Other socio-economic impactsThere 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
Proposal and development of alternatives:Diversify 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain: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 & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

General Health Law, Nº7600 may 2, 1996.

Forestal Law,Nº 7575 february 5, 1996.

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

Soil Conservation and Management law.

Environmental Law,Nº 7554, november 13, 1995.

Water Law,Nº5516 may 2, 1974.

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

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

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]

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]

Gonzalo Cortés Enríquez, 1994, Atlas agropecuario de Costa Rica

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

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

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]

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

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


Planta para jugo de piña
[click to view]

[click to view]

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]

Kioscos Ambientales. Universidad de Costa Rica
[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]


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

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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

Era Verde
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Neus Vinyet
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:718
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