Fyffes-owned Costa Rican pineapple farm Anexco has been granted a Sustainable Agriculture Standard Certification by the Rainforest Alliance for the its sustainable practices.

As a result, approximately 1,100 workers, 8m boxes of pineapples, and 3,239ha of farmland and protected forest areas are now RFA-certified.

The Sustainable Agriculture Standard certification is rooted in four key sustainability principles: effective planning and management systems, biodiversity conservation, natural resource conservation, and improved livelihoods.

Anexco received RFA’s certification after a rigorous process of implementation and internal evaluation, followed by an external audit and validation conducted by certification body Ceres.

Fyffes acquired Anexco in 2008 and through the years it has implemented important sustainable initiatives to continuously improve the standards for its workers, communities, and environment.

Its workers are represented by a permanent committee and several of them are members of multiple unions. The farm has received recognition for its health and safety management systems and is currently rolling out a gender equality pilot programme.

Transportation for farm workers is provided to a wide network of communities, and scholarships and school materials are provided to local children - initiatives that have had a positive impact on farm workers and the community.

Anexco has a total farm area of 3,239ha and has implemented reforestation programmes throughout the years to offset its carbon footprint, while 1,073ha of land within the farm are in conservation.

Wolter Van Der Kooij, Fyffes general manager for pineapples, said: “Fyffes is extremely proud of what our team at the Anexco farm in Costa Rica has achieved. The Rainforest Alliance certification reconfirms our high level of social compliance and environmental commitment. As we look towards the future, our ambition is to continue to improve the farm for its workers, its community and local natural habitat.”