Costa Rica: Standard Fruit Company Shuts Down Two Farms in Guápiles


Standard Fruit Company, a subsidiary of Dole, has announced the closure of two of its banana farms, leading to the dismissal of 111 employees. The company attributes this decision to the exchange rate policy, which it claims is adversely affecting the competitiveness of its operations. Juan Carlos Rojas, the Legal Director of the company, said that the closure of the Roxana and Parismina farms, both situated in Guápiles, within the canton of Pococí. He stated, “The exchange rate policy in Costa Rica has appreciated to an exaggerated and unjustifiable extent. As a result, for us, banana farms or any other export crops are no longer competitive. Every day, everything becomes more expensive, making Costa Rica a country where it is not feasible to operate.” Rojas further added that in other countries where similar products are cultivated, the local currency has depreciated, providing them with a competitive edge. In December of the previous year, the National Banana Corporation (Corbana) also expressed concerns about the potential negative impact on the banana industry due to a request by European supermarkets for a reduction in the purchase price of the fruit to 1.30 euros ($1.43).

Regarding the 111 dismissed employees, Standard Fruit assured that all legal severance, proportional vacation, Christmas bonus, and notice have been paid. “We are known for our good relations and constant openness to dialogue, so it has been a transparent process carried out with total empathy for the people affected today,” said Raúl Martínez, manager of the Banana Costa Rica Division of the multinational. The company currently provides more than 8,000 direct jobs and 50,000 indirect jobs, primarily in the country’s rural areas. In recent weeks, representatives from the chambers of industry, exports, tourism, and agriculture have described the measures taken by the Central Bank’s Board of Directors, including a reduction of 25 basis points in the monetary policy rate (TPM) to 5.75% since January 19, as “insufficient.”