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New alliances seek to boost Costa Rica’s sustainable agricultural, fishing exports

Two new public-private alliances seek to open new doors for Costa Rica in international markets by building sustainable green and blue value chains that protect the country’s biodiversity while strengthening rural economies.

The first of the two alliances will create a Green Growth Program, and was signed last week in San José by the Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA), the Foreign Trade Promotion Ofice (PROCOMER) and the Environmental Bank Foundation (FUNBAM). CRUSA commited up to $4 million to the program over the next five years.

The second, signed by CRUSA and Conservation International, will develop a Blue Growth Program focused on sustainable fisheries. Both organizations committed $2 million to the program for a total of $4 million over five years.

Costa Rica exported a total of $8 billion in goods from January to September, according to PROCOMER, but faces significant challenges in diversifying its offerings and finding ways to add value to its products in ways that comply with the highest quality and environmental standards of the international market, according to a statement from CRUSA. The two programs seek to address this need.

Sponsored content from Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA). 

“The CRUSA Foundation has decided to relaunch the way it works through a five-year strategy to catalyze solutions to our national challenges,” CRUSA President David Gutiérrez said in the statement. “Part of our strategic objectives for 2018-2022 are promoting sustainable models of economic development that improve the quality of life of Costa Ricans while reducing environmental risks as a way to face the effects of climate change in our country.”

The Green Growth Platform will focus on converting 200 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) into green businesses, exporting food products, including organics and superfoods, as well as green services, to markets including North America, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean. The program will work with the businesses to improve their practices in commercialization, processes, products, innovation and added value.

The program will also work with SMEs to improve their energy efficiency, renewable energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste management.

The Blue Growth Program, meanwhile, seeks to make Costa Rica’s fisheries more competitive for export through two systems of traceability that allow total control throughout the production change, in compliance with international standards.

The Costa Rica USA Foundation has worked as a grantmaker and project partner in Costa Rican sustainable development since 1996, when it was created as a legacy of USAID presence in the country. Its U.S. counterpart, Amigos of Costa Rica, provides outstanding Costa Rican nonprofits with a way to receive online donations that are tax deductible in the United States. Stay tuned for more on the new Tico Times Philanthropy News section co-sponsore by CRUSA and Amigos of Costa Rica.

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