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Costa Rica approves a regulation that will allow greater transparency in the commercialization of oil palm fruit

The standard arises from the consensus of all the links in the supply chain related to the palm oil sector, which will allow the classification of oil palm fruit based on its quality, a parameter to be taken into account when buying and selling.


Oil palm.

Relations between Costa Rican oil palm producers and industrializing companies will be more transparent, thanks to the recent approval of a national technical standard that standardizes fruit quality criteria.

The preparation of the document was a process coordinated between the public and private sectors and led by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), within the work of the National Oil Palm Commission, which is coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) and also made up of representatives of the Institute for Rural Development (INDER), the Institute for Innovation and Transfer of Agricultural Technology (INTA), the Cooperative Development Institute (INFOCOOP), the National Council of Rectors (CONARE), -with representation from public universities-, the National Chamber of Producers of Palma (CANAPALMA), Palma Tica SA, Coopeagropal RL, and producers from the oil palm producing regions of the country.

“The norm arises as an inter-institutional effort, within the framework of the work of the National Oil Palm Commission, in order to make the process of buying and selling oil palm fruit transparent, so that all parties accept the same criteria of quality. We trust that it will become a valid instrument of reference for all parties, since it emerged in an integrated manner, with the participation of all sectors, ”explained the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Marlon Monge Castro.

The final document was endorsed by the parties and duly published by the Institute of Technical Standards of Costa Rica, INTECO, as the INTE A99: 2020 standard, in the Institute's national catalog of standards.

"The standard for the classification of palm fruit by quality criteria is the result of a joint effort that had the participation of the public and private sectors, it is also conceived from the National System for Quality, as an instrument that will contribute in the sustained improvement of the competitiveness of the agricultural chains. Therefore, from the MEIC we are optimistic about this step taken by the Costa Rican palm sector and we appreciate the contribution provided by the different entities that participated in the elaboration process, especially INTECO, for having been a facilitator of the process ", mentioned the vice minister of Economy, Carlos Mora Gómez.

For her part, Susana Picado, manager of INTECO standardization projects, pointed out that: “the standards make it possible to improve the quality of life, define the characteristics of products and services, establish guidelines to protect the environment and represent a tool for the consumer. The standard for the classification of oil palm fruit is a tool to resolve the need for transparency, bilaterality and challenge demanded by the interested parties ”.

The oil palm industry shows signs of recovery, after several years of production problems and low international oil prices, which registered a significant increase, exceeding $ 900 per ton.

"International prices are reported positively in better income for producers, so the call now is to invest in the productive recovery of the plantations and work on the quality of the fruit, based on the different integral production alternatives proposed in the Productive Improvement and Technology Transfer programs of the Palma National Commission and the Research and Technology Transfer Program, in Oil Palm, PITTA Oil Palm ”, exhorted Monge Castro.

According to MAG data, in Costa Rica there are more than 76,000 hectares of oil palm cultivation, this crop occupying second place, after coffee, in terms of planted area, 70% belongs to small and medium producers, approximately 3,200 producers. About 50,000 people depend on the activity directly and indirectly.

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