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

Profile

Platanera Río Sixaola was founded in 1989 by Dr. Volker Ribniger, a German immigrant, visionary, agriculturalist, and passionate environmentalist.
It was established with the vision of setting a global example for sustainable production.
The farm spans 275 hectares of growing plots and is a company dedicated to the production, packaging, and export of sustainable bananas for the German market.
Platanera Río Sixaola S.A. was the first banana plantation in the world to become certified in accordance with international protocols such as EUREP GAP, Rainforest Alliance, CarbonNeutral, and HACCP as well as the national standards Guayacán, Bandera Ecológica, and National Brand esencial Costa Rica among others.

 

Achievements

  • Platanera Río Sixaola S.A. deserves to win the award for being the banana plantation with the greatest biodiversity and for the conservation efforts pursued continuously ever since its founding, in addition to for its varied achievements, projects, and programs, for its unfailing commitment to the sustainability of the planet and for being a prime example of sustainable production at global level.


It has been developing different initiatives with the aim of producing highly sustainable bananas for more than 27 years, including:

1. Generation of solar energy allowing self-sufficiency for 100% of its processes. (This initiative took 4 th place in the Energy category at the 2016 Latin American Green Awards.)

2. As part of its sustainability policies, it has never employed nematicides or herbicides on the farm, allowing vegetation to cover 100% of the growing plots, which in turn allows a great range of animal and plants species to flourish on the farm. In addition, this measure also contributes to the protection and conservation of natural soil resources.

3. With regard to the control of black sigatoka, preference is given to biological measures and agricultural practices, a strategy which allows it to be one of the farms in the humid tropics with the fewest aerial applications of fungicides. (Minimum of 24 and maximum of 34 aerial applications ever performed in one year.)

4. Thanks to the biological control strategies, it is one of the farms with the lowest toxic burdens released into the environment.

5. Forty-three hectares of Gmelina forests are maintained for the production of pallets for the export of the fruit and simultaneously utilized as carbon sinks to offset the company’s carbon footprint – this measure was also initiated with the aim of creating additional jobs in the neighboring communities.


In addition, it maintains 4.6 hectares of secondary forests as High Conservation Value Areas (HCVA), also utilized as carbon sinks to offset the company’s carbon footprint and providing shelter for the different species of animals which live there.

The different forest areas maintained by the farm offset its carbon footprint and additionally capture 603.4 tons of carbon dioxide as a contributing effort to combating climate change. (This initiative took 16 th place in the Emissions category at the 2016 Latin American Green Awards.)

6. There is a water resources conservation program in place.

a) The “Ayúdame a Salvar el Río Sand Box” (Help Me Save the Sand Box River) initiative took 7 th place in the Biodiversity & Fauna category at the 2016 Latin American Green Awards.
As part of its conservation efforts, the water basin is monitored every year to assess the health of the fish and the aquatic ecosystem as a whole. We conduct this work in cooperation with the NGO ANAI (Costa Rica) and get students and volunteers from the company involved.

b) The water footprint (from the source to the door) was established in 2016. This initiative was utilized by the FAO and the World Banana Forum (WBF) to develop a methodology guide with the aim of having it implemented by the entire global banana sector.

c) 100% of process water is recycled.

d) A semi-dry process has been implemented (without a de-handing pool), which significantly reduces water consumption.

e) In 2017, water consumption was reduced by 44% compared with 2016, dropping from 1.92 liters of water per kilo of bananas processed in 2016 to 1.07 liters per kilo of bananas processed in 2017. By 5 May 2018, we have already reduced water consumption by 12% compared with 2017, maintaining a very low water footprint.

7. The Biological Corridor program is being operated with the following aims:

a) Interconnecting the farm’s different terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems as well as the neighboring ones.
b) Planting more than 90,000 trees of 80 different species native to Costa Rica.
c) Preventing the dividing up of the ecosystems.
d) Protecting the forest species and native fauna of the farm and its surroundings.
e) Protecting the forest species and native fauna at risk of extinction or in any way endangered.
f) Representing a strategy in the fight against climate change.
g) Representing a strategy for producing and preserving water tables and protecting against soil erosion.
h) As of 1 June 2018, the different conservation areas protect the following species of flora and fauna:

1. Arboreal species: 121

2. Birds: 119

3. Reptiles: 21

4. Mammals: 66

5. Amphibians: 19

6. Fish and freshwater crustaceans: 39

7. Insects: 53

8. Mollusks and annelids: 3

This gives us a total of 441 species of protected flora and fauna, which makes us the banana plantation with the greatest biodiversity on the planet.

8. The biodiversity is monitored annually and the results reveal that Platanera Río Sixaola is one of the farms with the greatest biodiversities in Costa Rica and the whole world.

9. April 2018 saw the conclusion of the study of the bats in all the farm’s ecosystems. Out of the 114 species native to Costa Rica, 39 were observed on the farm. The financial backing for this program came from the company itself.

10. The farm maintains 30 hectares of organic banana trees (certifications: NOP, EU, and national standard).

11. At the end of 2017, the company built its own biotechnological laboratory, a project which involved a high degree of innovation. The work in the lab focuses on the development of biofertilizers, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and organic products for the integrated control of pests and diseases which attack the crop.

Advantages of having a biotech lab:
a) Improved productivity.
b) Reduced use of chemical fertilizers and consequent reduction in GHG emissions.
c) Integrated control of pests via natural products such as the entomopathogenic fungus (Beauveria bassiana), which naturally controls the banana root borer (Cosmopolites sordidus). Other natural biological control agents are also being developed.
d) Reduction of the company’s chemical footprint.

12. Certifications achieved by Platanera Río Sixaola, S.A.

a) Renewal of Rainforest Alliance certificate, in 2017, 100% compliance. Awarded by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), New York, USA.

b) GLOBALG.A.P. Good Agricultural Practices (Fruit & Vegetables) label, 100% compliance, certified by Primus LAB ®, Santa Maria, USA.

c) Certified CO 2 neutral by CarbonNeutral.

In addition to this offsetting, another 609.26 tons of CO 2have been captured to date, which represents a positive contribution to battling climate change.

d) Certification: National Brand esencial Costa Rica.

In December 2015, the farm  received the “ esencial Costa Rica” award from the Foreign Trade Corporation of Costa Rica (PROCOMER) in recognition of its work in the areas of excellence, innovation, sustainability, and social progress.

In 2016, we participated in the 2 nd National Brand esencial Costa Rica Forum

“Desarrollo y Norte son Sinónimos” (Development and North are Synonyms) as a case study for sustainability. In the scope of the event, 50 active businessmen were invited to join Global Compact and pursue the UNO’s 17 SDGs.

e) May 2018: Recertified as an esencial Costa Rica company.

f) Certification of organic banana production awarded by Primus LAB ®, Santa Maria, USA, 10 hectares of baby bananas, 20 hectares of Gros Michel, and 10 hectares of Red Macabu. (Standards: national, USA, and EU)

g) September 2016,: Certified in accordance with the GLOBALG.A.P social practice standard GRASP, 100% compliance.

h) September 2016: The Water Footprint (ISO 14046) is established, demonstrating commitment to the conservation of water and the sustainability of the planet.

i) The Internet portal “Rank a Brand”, which is dedicated to verifying the sustainability of everyday products including “bananas”, places the Sixaola brand, as the most sustainable brand on the German market, above the other brands, awarding it the highest possible label A. This qualification has been maintained from 2016 to 2018. https://rankabrand.org/bananas-pineapple/Sixaola

j) On 4 May 2016, Platanera Río Sixaola S.A. was chosen as a case study by the United Nations Global Compact Local Network in Columbia to be presented at its sixth conference in the range of initiatives for Protection of Natural Resources and Adaptation to Climate Change, gestion2@pactoglobal-colombia.org

k) 25 August 2016: The 2016 Latin American Green Awards ranked four Platanera Río Sixaola S.A. initiatives among the top 500 sustainable projects in the Latin America region:

Ø 1.“Energía Sostenible en una Empresa Bananera” (Sustainable Energy in a Banana Company), Energy category, 4 th place.

Ø 2. “Ayúdame a Salvar el Río Sand Box” (Help Me Save the Sand Box River), Biodiversity & Fauna category, 7 th place.

Ø3. “Neutralización de la Huella de Carbono” (Neutralization of the Carbon Footprint), Emissions category, 16 th place.

Ø4. “Sostenibilidad energética en el proceso de empaque de banano” (Energy Sustainability in the Banana Packaging Process), Energy category, 26 th place.

In August 2017, two initiatives were ranked by the Latin American Green Awards among the top 500 sustainable projects in the Latin America region:

Ø1. “100% Energía Solar en el Proceso de Empaque de Banano” (100% Solar Energy in the Banana Packaging Process), Energy category, 25 th place.

Ø2. “Corredor Biológico de Platanera Río Sixaola S.A.” (Platanera Río Sixaola S.A. Biological Corridor), Forests and Flora category, 41 st place

http://premioslatinoamericaverde.com/

 

l) Since 2017, Platanera Río Sixaola has been participating in the Low Carbon Cities initiative founded in 2014 with the support of the Buena Nota foundation in Medellín and already implemented the The Green City project. The initiative seeks to inspire and raise awareness among civilians, academia, the communication media, and the private and public sectors so that climate change becomes a priority on the public agenda. http://lowcarbon.city/es/

The Platanera Río Sixaola S.A. Biological Corridor initiative was accepted at the World Low Carbon City Forum hosted in Villahermosa, Mexico, on 5-7 September 2017.

m) June 2017: The Talamanca Regional Health Authority awarded the Good Practice Award for Elimination of Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes.

n) On 5 June 2018, the Latin American Green Awards ranked four Platanera Río Sixaola S.A. initiatives among the top 500 American sustainability projects (http://www.premioslatinoamericaverde.com/top500/):

1. In the Responsible Consumption category: “Banano Sostenible Platanera Río Sixaola S.A” (Platanera Río Sixaola S.A. Sustainable Banana”, 69 th place in the general ranking.

2. In the Responsible Consumption category: “Laboratorio Biotecnológico de Platanera Río Sixaola” (Platanera Río Sixaola Biotechnological Laboratory), 81 st place in the general ranking.

3. In the Forests & Flora category: “Corredor Biológico de Platanera Río Sixaola” (Platanera Río Sixaola Biological Corridor), 164 th place in the general ranking.

4. In the Fauna category: “Platanera Río Sixaola y la Conservación de Murciélagos” (Platanera Río Sixaola and Bat Conservation), 361 st place in the general ranking.

Agreements signed:

1. On 30 November 2015, Platanera Río Sixaola joined the United Nation Global Compact, an initiative for more social and ecological globalization. It was the first banana plantation to do so in Costa Rica and participates actively to the present day.

2. 9 September 2016, Dr. Volker Ribniger, CEO of Platanera Río Sixaola S.A., signed the public agreement to comply with the 17 SDGs promoted by the United Nations within the framework of Agenda 2030. (This made it the first banana plantation in the world to sign this declaration).

3. Maintains the accreditation as an Inclusive Company, free from any form of discrimination, as awarded by the LGBTI Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica. 4. Present on social media networks Facebook and Instagram since 2016 sharing information with interested parties on environmental and social practices among other issues.

5. Introduction of a SMART sustainability study, making it the only banana plantation with this important standard. (Established by Sustainable Food Systems “sFs”)

6. On 6 December 2017, Platanera Río Sixaola was awarded the recognition for Good Employment Practices for Gender Equality (awarded by Costa Rican National Institute for Women (INAMU)/UNDP) in the scope of the Gender Equality Seal program operated by the INAMU/UNDP.