'True cost' of organic pineapples revealed

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Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

'True cost' of organic pineapples revealed

Nature & More's pineapples are unveiling the hidden costs of pineapple cultivation through a tag attached to the crown

'True cost' of organic pineapples revealed

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Nature & More's organic pineapples are unveiling the hidden costs of pineapple cultivation, through a tag attached to the crown.

These pineapples, distributed throughout Europe, already told consumers which grower in Costa Rica produced them and at which location, how sustainably and socially the grower went about it, and his e-mail address – but now the group says the numbers make it clear that organic is not too expensive, but rather conventional is too cheap.

The group, Eosta's trademark for organic fruit and vegetables, launched a European-wide campaign this year called "The True Cost of Food".

Products in the stores such as pears, oranges, lemons, and grapes were supplied with information cards about the hidden costs of food production. The true challenge here lay in having the information reach the store shelves; not every supermarket is eager to provide flyers with the products.

However, pineapples are the ideal fruit to supply full transparency about origins and hidden costs. It is easy to attach an extra little information card to the crown, which is what Nature & More is doing now.

These 'talkative' pineapples are sold mostly in health food stores but also in supermarkets in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, France, Denmark, Finland, and other countries.

According to Nature & More, the Costa Rican pineapples of grower Andres, for example, have 'saved society' €2,013 for the climate and €805 for water when compared with conventional pineapples – not for each pineapple but per hectare, per year.

These costs are made up of water pollution through artificial fertilisers, or the extinction of honeybees through pesticide use and lack of food sources. The groundwater must then be purified in water purification plants which are paid for by the government.

The government in turn is paid for by the taxpayer, the same consumer who eats the pineapple. Thus, a 'cheap' pineapple may turn out to be a bad bargain, the group points out.

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