Harvesting Del Monte Gold pineapples on a plantation near Buenos Aires, Costa Rica. Del Monte developed this pineapple variety 25 years ago, and it has become the dominant commercial variety worldwide, tripling U.S. pineapple consumption over the past twenty years, due to it’s sweet, less acidic flavor. Del Monte has 600 sq km of pineapple, banana, and melon acreage in Costa Rica, and keeps 26% of it in a wild or re-wilded state, providing biological corridors for wildlife and buffer zone for watersheds.
DMG pineapples have a two year lifespan, yielding their first fruit after 14 months, and a second slightly large fruit 10 months later. The fruit are picked by hand (harvesters average $36-$40/day for a 10 hour shift), then washed in chlorine solution, waxed, and treated with some fungicide and insecticide before being chilled to 8°C for shipment by containerized boat to markets in N. America, Europe, and the Middle East.
Buenos Aires pineapple plant is the largest and oldest fresh pineapple processor in the world, with 190,000 MT of fresh pineapples/year.
Pineapple fields are routinely sprayed with fertilizer, and less often with herbicide and occasionally insecticide.
- George Steinmetz
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