The exchange rate policy of the Central Bank significantly impacts the competitiveness of Costa Rican fruit and unfortunately affects employment in agricultural production and export activities, as evidenced by recent developments at Roxana and Parismina farms.
Standard Fruit Company de Costa Rica S.A. expressed regret over the decision, emphasizing that they had no alternative given the circumstances.
“It appears that neither the productive sector nor employment in agricultural areas are being considered by the Central Bank, and there have been no actions taken to address the situation, despite the availability of tools to counteract it,” they stated.
According to the company, despite efforts by Costa Rican banana producers to enhance efficiency, other banana-producing nations are capitalizing on Costa Rica’s exchange rate situation.
Moreover, the company clarified that while it continues operations in Costa Rica at other farms and engages in different activities, other countries are exploiting this abnormal situation, which favors imports and leads to high interest rates in the local currency.
They emphasized that the 111 laid-off workers received their full benefits, and some will be temporarily rehired to complete the harvest of existing plants.
“Dole has been operating in Costa Rica since 1956, providing employment for both unskilled and skilled workers, and we aim to maintain our position as a leading company in the country, contributing to the global management of fresh fruit,” they affirmed.
The company further stated, “The export model that has thrived in Costa Rica for the past 30 years is now at serious risk due to the current policies of the Central Bank.”
The business sector has repeatedly urged both the government and the Central Bank to intervene in the exchange rate, highlighting the potential risk to numerous jobs and the financial stability of many enterprises.
“We are committed to maintaining our leadership position in the country, ensuring the sustainability of our operations to promote greater well-being for families and communities,” Standard Fruit Company concluded.