Profile

As a 7-year-old small family-run business, the company has managed to overcome many obstacles to become one of the top banana producing farms in Costa Rica. They produce about 3,200 banana boxes per hectare a year, which is 400 banana boxes more than the country’s average.

The success of Varcli Pinares S.A., however, is based on three principles: innovation, sustainability, and simplicity.

The farm’s estimated banana production is expected to reach 3,500 boxes per hectare in 2017, that’s 300 boxes more per hectare. The company started in 2009 with 30 hectares and only 15 workers. In the past 7 years, it has developed into a banana plantation of 120 hectares, quadruplicating its size, and providing work to more than 60 families. Today, Varcli Pinares S. A. exports its bananas to several parts of the world, such as the United States, Spain, Italy, Japan, and the Middle East.

Achievements

  • Four years in a row  full compliance to the GLOBALG.A.P. Certification.
  • The use of solar energy : Varcli Pinares S. A. is the first banana producer in Costa Rica, and possibly the world, to use solar energy as the only energy source for the banana packing process.
  • Reduction of water consumption from 145 liters per banana box down to 4 liters. That’s a water reduction use of 97% per regular banana box!
  • Reduced need for chemicals in the washing process, as the only chemicals needed are chlorine (3 parts per million) and citric acid.
  • Substantial reduction in the use of herbicides: Varcli Pinares S. A. maintains its total production area without the use of herbicides.
  • An important aspect of the company is the involvement of female labor for the packing processes, having 60% of the packing plant composed of women.
  • The company uses the "Quesada" harvesting process, which makes Varcli Pinares S.A. one of the least harmful and most efficient banana harvesting processes in the industry.

Watch a video of Felipe Vargas talking about the innovations implemented on his farm and what it means to win a G.A.P. Award 2016.

 

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Photo: Varcli Pinares S.A.