Fresh Plaza – Although Productos Agropecruarios VISA also grows rambutan, yucca and yam, the firm’s main product for export are pineapples. These are produced at the firm’s own plantations, allowing it to control the entire production process.
“We own around 42 hectares for rambutan and another 5 hectares for yucca and yam,” said Joselyn Villalobos Salas, “but we have 500 hectares for pineapples.” The firm owns plantations and a production plant in northern Costa Rica, allowing them to grow, harvest and pack their entire production. From July to September they produce rambutan for both the domestic and the export markets, but they are able to supply pineapples all year round.
“80% of our exports are shipped to Europe and the other 20% to the United States,” said Villalobos. “Our main markets in Europe are the Netherlands, Spain, England, Italy, France and Germany.” He also said that Russia is an interesting market during Christmas, but only for a certain variety of ornamental pineapple.
The Rambutan is known in Costa Rica as the “ mamón chino (“Chinese Sucker”)
In the long term, the firm wishes to increase its production capacity and open a processing plant for the dehydration and canning of pineapples. The only problem is that a large investment is needed for this. Villalobos said that although the financial situation is not ideal, such investments are necessary.
“If we compare the current market with that four years ago, it is no longer as profitable; however, taking good advantage of the opportunities that arise and with a better handling of production costs, among other aspects, it is possible to increase production volumes while maintaining the quality,” said Villalobos. “Production costs must drop, which is exactly what we have done, allowing us to continue being successful.”