Over the past four years I've made a handful of visits to one of my favorite organic growing pioneers in Latin America, Luis Barrantes.
Luis is from rural Costa Rica, and what started as a one hectare conventional pineapple farm a couple decades ago, has transformed into one of the largest organic pineapple operations after Dole.
In addition to his 400+ hectares of organic fresh pineapples that is grown exclusively for international wholesale export markets, Luis also processes organic pineapples instantly into frozen chunks using a system known as IQF or "Individually Quick Frozen."
The IQF pineapple facility is rather small in size, but it operates on two lines in a very clean and efficient manner. The freezing operation provides Luis with a unique advantage as a fresh grower. When markets in his destination countries for fresh, like the USA, are low, he can instead send his fresh fruit to be frozen, stored, and shipped to his clients around the world. This helps Luis to manage his supply chain efficiently. It is a model that I personally recommend to other growing groups as to not put too much risk on the volatility of the fresh markets.
It's always mesmerizing to watch the pineapples go from the truck, to being washed, peeled, cut, cubed, frozen, and packed in a matter of minutes. It gives me a lot of confidence in buying frozen fruit at the supermarket to see L y L's awesome operation.
L y L ships bulk wholesale IQF, and fresh conventional and organic pineapples to satisfied clients around the world.