The first market study made in Costa Rica, prepared by IICA and the National Coordinator of Fair Trade (CLAC), revealed that Costa Rican “fair trade” producers have opportunities to be inserted in the country’s commercial activity, in both the public and private sectors, but must face several challenges first.
Fair trade is an approach that promotes social equity through a more equitable distribution of income generated along the chain, for the benefit of small producers and their families.
It contributes to sustainable development by offering better ecological and trading conditions and securing the rights of workers.
The study analyzed the supply and demand for marketing products of the fair trade movement in the regions Central, Huétar Norte, Pacífico Central and Chorotega, and focused on 12 products and 16 organizations.
Seven fresh products were analyzed: banana, guava, pineapple, mango, papaya, rambutan and peach; as well as five processed products: chocolate, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pepper and coffee.
In the private sector distributors, supermarkets, canteens, hotels, specialty shops and consumers were consulted, whereas in the public sector the analysis focused on the demand by the central government, education, ministries and hospitals.
According to the study, a lack of fair trade productive approach persists, however, both the private and the public sectors show interest in the products, considering that the purchase price is equal to the current one.
With these results, IICA and LACAC will focus on the organization of business meetings with potential buyers in order to establish possible purchase contracts, as well as the design of a strategy to promote the concept of fair trade, according to Marvin Blanco, a specialist in agribusiness from the IICA.
The most demanded fresh produce is pineapple, and the most demanded processed one is coffee.
The Institutional Supply Program (PAI) of the National Production Council (CNP) stands out as a potential market for high volume of fair trade products. To access it, the challenge is the consolidation of a joint bid, said Bryan Serrano, researcher of the study.
During the presentation of the study, representatives of the fair trade movement got to know the experience of Green Center in marketing distinctive products, sales strategies to retail chains and supermarkets as well as the requirements to supply the affiliated system of the Costa Rican Chamber of Restaurants (CACORE).