This past week I spent a day with the Coopeassa Cooperative located outside of San Isidro General in Costa Rica. It was an exciting moment to visit with the Cooperative since the group is preparing for their first commercial organic pineapple harvest destined for export to the United States and Germany.
Their organic pineapple operation is unique to the other commercial organic pineapple farms in Costa Rica. The Coopeassa farms consist of .5 hectare to 5 hectare plots which are independently owned and managed by the cooperative members. Each of the farms is surrounded by biological corridors rich in trees and diversified plantings. In contrast, the largest organic pineapple player in the world, Dole, has plantings of 500 to 1500 hectares! This is truly artisanal organic farm production at its finest.
Furthermore, the Coopeassa farms are located at 700-800 meters altitude, which is higher altitude than normal for commercial pineapple production in Costa Rica. The general manager of the cooperative, Walter Elizondo claims that the higher altitude is resulting in a fruit that is higher in bric content with a deeper pineapple flavor.
I was lucky enough to get to try a perfectly ripened, freshly harvested pineapple. It was spectacular!