Name Platanera Río Sixaola, S.A.
GGN 4049928642738 Website http://www.bananen.de/
Country Costa Rica

Profile

Located in one of the biodiversity hotpots of our planet, Platanera Río Sixaola is dedicated to producing high quality bananas and doing sustainable business in harmony with mankind and nature. Since 1989, we have been operating 275 hectares of land located in Bribri, a fertile but vulnerable region close to the Caribbean boarder between Costa Rica and Panamá. Our vision is to leave things better than we found them: we are permanently seeking and applying techniques to improve resource efficiency, soil quality and biodiversity. The idea behind it is a resilient integrative agricultural system that for example allows us to lower pesticide use and invest the saved money elsewhere such as in renewable energy.

Platanera Río Sixaola achieved the EurepGAP certification back in 1997. We are building on strong partnerships: today several co-operations with heterogeneous partners help us to reach our dreams. Experts provide advice on how to enhance our sustainable approach, for example how to produce in a bee-friendly way, how to lower our water footprint, and how to engage the local community for proper waste recycling. In global networks like the FAO program World Banana Forum and the UN Initiative Global Compact, we share experiences about applied sustainable agriculture. We are also running an environmental education program with the local elementary school San Box and a visiting program for tourists. We receive interns from all over the world.

Platanera Río Sixaola is doing business to serve the people! Regardless of color, culture and gender, our teamwork is based on respect, transparency, fairness and honesty. Workshops, training measures, and daily team activities educate and empower us. We understand ourselves as a role model business for sustainable agriculture in the tropics and promote both awareness and practical solutions beyond the boundaries of our farm.

Achievements

We have a very long list of achievements in the 27-year history of our farm. So this is a brief extract of our youngest milestones towards sustainable agriculture and agri-food-value-chains:

  • Water efficiency and management: due to renewing our installations we recycle 100% of the used washing water and produce our proper organic fertilizer. We do not irrigate or use any fossil water.
  • Renewable energy: installing solar panels and improving the energy management on the farm allows us to self-provide 80% of the totally used energy.
  • Improve and cooperate: we analyze the water and carbon footprint together with independent experts. Results show that in the last year we absorbed 520 tons more GHG-emissions than we emitted. Our water footprint is not yet completed – within the FAO Program World Banana Forum we are already processing our experience as a pioneer for water footprints in tropical agriculture.
  • Biodiversity and resilience: We are monitoring the biodiversity on the farm and in the neighboring rivers together with external experts. We are running several programs to enhance biodiversity: At the moment we plant 2300 seedlings of ancient regional endangered tree species and started a happy-bee programs, planting nectar plants and building hotels for insects. We want to promote bee-friendly productive agriculture in the humid tropics and are member of the multi-stakeholder platform Biodiversity Partnership Mesoamerica.
  • Organic farming approach: We completely avoid using nematicides and herbicides, we lowered our use of fungicides against the plague Sigatoka Negra for 50-75% in comparison to other regional banana farmers. We produce humus in vermiculture (lombriculture) and other organic fertilizers. On 60 hectares, we test organic banana cultivation, partly in extensive agroforestry-systems. We grow varieties such as certified organic baby bananas. Our farm is a testing area for biological pest control.