In Germany, a great Costa Rican pineapple consumer, two important newspapers have published an Oxfam research, in which the confederation reports bad working conditions, a huge environmental impact and popular repercussions on sowing, harvest and exportation of the product.
“A bitter aftertaste” was Der Tagespiegel title report about Costa Rican pineapple production and Osnabrucker Zeitugung heading was “Oxfam complains of non-human conditions in ranches.”
Pineapple producers deny the accusations but they admit having met the research team headed by Eva Carazo, a well-known, Costa Rican, green activist.
Der Tagespiegel stated that European large super market chains promote sustainable products, however, that tropical fruit comes from a place where human rights are violated.
Some of Oxfam complaints are the following:
-Low wages affect workers’ life conditions.
-Wages distribution are not fair.
-Companies retaliate if workers join a union.
-Workers do not take medical exams, although skin irritations, nausea, puking and blurred vision are frequent due to the lack of a suitable equipment.
-Workers don’t have a place to rest.
Abel Cháves, president of the Cámara Nacional de Productores y Exportadores de Piña (CONAPEP), strongly rejected these accusations and added
we don’t attempt upon workers’ health. It’s a great nonsense. In fact, we are signing new agreements aiming to protect and train our workers. If they have any proof, I want them to show it,