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HomeCosta RicaExchange Rate Crisis Hits Costa Rica's Banana Sector

Exchange Rate Crisis Hits Costa Rica’s Banana Sector

Standard Fruit Company de Costa Rica S.A. confirmed the dismissal of another 412 workers from banana farms in the province of Limón. “The reason is the abrupt appreciation of the Costa Rican colón or the exchange rate, which does not allow the agricultural activity to survive,” said the company’s Legal Affairs Director, Juan Carlos Rojas.

The company noted that the trend of the exchange rate in Costa Rica unfortunately does not favor the competitiveness of Costa Rican fruit, in this case, bananas.

“More layoffs are not ruled out if the exchange rate is maintained or if it drops further,” company representatives stated. Rojas confirmed that the decision impacted the company’s seven banana farms.

“Unfortunately, due to the exchange rate and the abrupt appreciation that has taken place in Costa Rica, the agricultural sector is in a very difficult competitive situation compared to other countries, and our company had to lay off 412 people in all the banana farms we have in the Atlantic,” explained Rojas.

The attorney further stated that the “layoffs were completely necessary.” “We pay full benefits to all workers as has always been the custom here at Dole. We regret having to take these measures, but they are necessary for the survival of the farm at this time,” added the company’s legal director.

The company emphasized that there was no closure of the farm, but rather a reduction in personnel. He pointed out that other areas of the company are also at risk of being left without work.

According to the company, employees working in the banana crop sectors are not the only ones affected. They do not rule out further layoffs in other sectors of the company.

“Dole has banana and pineapple farms; we have a free trade zone for services, and competitiveness is affected in everything related to exports. Other areas of the company are also conducting evaluations to survive,” explained Rojas.

Previously, several companies had laid off personnel, including the Standard Fruit Company. The business sector had already warned on several occasions that the exchange rate is unsustainable for their productivity and that if there are no changes, many would close or lay off personnel.

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