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One of the things you can see in the valley below from Jorge's cabin is 25 acres of recently constructed green houses that Del Monte has built with the intent of building a total of 175 acres under roof. They are now growing all kinds of vegetables in these climate controlled buildings for export.

Besides this they are also moving their pineapple processing plant from Hawai down here to Volcan which is just below Monte Verde and Santiago Springs. They hope to have all set up and ready to go within the next 24 mo. This is huge for our local industry! Between the green houses and the processing plant there will be employment for around 1,600 people!

Several years ago I told my wife and some friends that what I estimate will happen long term is that along the highway between San Isidro and Buenos Aires it will all become highly commercial where everyone will work and have their jobs. After work they will drive up into the mountains and have their homeswhere it is cool. Well, I figured when I said that, that it might happen towards the end of my life or that my children might see it. Instead, it is happening as I write!


There are many more exciting developments in the works here in southern Costa Rica but I need to save stuff for the next newsletters!

The location is a current pineapple farm in Buenos Aires de Puntarenas, specifically Volcan, and a region where Del Monte, through its Pindeco division already has the needed property.The Agricultural Development Corporation, Del Monte will use some 6.7 hectares (17 acres) currently planted with pineapple, to build and operate a “juicing” facility.P.S

There is a percentage of the fruit that is not qualified to sell in international markets but maintains its quality standards for other purposes and for this reason the idea of building a processing plant that could juice and pasteurize the pineapple that otherwise cannot be exported.

Luis Gomez, chief legal officer and corporate relations for Colombia, Ecuador, Central America and Brazil of Del Monte, said he has parent authorization to proceed with the project. The project is in the permitting process right now. Because of the nature of the project and beings it is in permitting stages, Gómez preferred to be cautious with the information.

The estimated time for this infrastructure to be in place is two years. This investment project to be developed by Del Monte, will also have an extraction plant, a waste treatment plant, and a waste water storage tank.

Total amount of project estimated to cost $ 7,259,602.

With this infrastructure in place Del Monte could process oranges and pinapple just as Ticofrut does in Northern Costa Rica. Ticofrut expects to process a total of 300,000 metric tons of oranges and 80,000 tons of pineapples.

"We now have the approval of headquarters .... We are in the process of obtaining permits."Corporate Relations Luis Gomez from Del Monte says. In his opinion the orange juice consumption is increasing while the pineapple has remained stable.

In addition to the technical studies of soil, geological, hydrological and economic-financial, the company also assessed the perception of the Volcan community in southern Costa Rica. Of 21 persons who were interviewed, 81% said they were aware of the project and 100% admitted that the main advantage that the extraction plant will be employment.

The majority of respondents see it as positive development, the negative aspects being pollution, noise and bad smells. Del Monte could exploit the pineapple juice concentrate as raw material for its beverage brands, or sell to a third party distribution.

This is exciting news for southern Costa Rica as this will open doors for planting citrus fruits and finally having a market for them!


Nat Yoder

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