Pineapple film provokes worldwide interest

14 Oct 2010

The film Pineapples: luxury fruit, at what price? launched at the beginning of October has provoked widespread interest and debate.

International coverage

With sustained coverage in The Guardian and over 20,000 hits on the video during the first week, the film Pineapples: luxury fruit, at what price? has sparked widespread comment and debate internationally. For example:

News of the study and film have been picked up from one blog to another, such as on Development Blogs

The Guardian's own Poverty Matters Blog includes reader commentary. Plus, Felicity Lawrence talks about the reaction to the film and investigation into the pineapple industry in Costa Rica. Where do the profits go?

And the pesticide perspective in Spanish from Latin America on RAP-AL.

Industry response

All companies named in the film were given an opportunity to respond to the content of the film before it was completed and responses that were received were taken into account.

Both Fyffes and Dole have responded in the industry press (pdf).

CANAPEP (The National Chamber of Producers and Exporters of Pineapple in Costa Rica) pointed to their own efforts at improvements, however Consumers International (CI) believes that much more still needs to be done.

Overall, amid claims of misinformation, the industry has yet to fully acknowledge the evidence of the current problems uncovered by this investigative documentary.

Reaction in Costa Rica

Within Costa Rica, wide press coverage prompted public expressions of support in parliament and from civil society including Friends of the Earth, Costa Rica. Academics from the University of Costa Rica, who have in the past called for a national moratorium on the expansion of new pineapple plantations given the 'widespread pattern of pollution and exploitation' within the pineapple industry also voiced their support.

Continued exposure in Europe

In coming months, CI member organisations in Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Poland, Spain and beyond will promote the film through their national public campaigns.

Pineapples: luxury fruit, at what price? was also shown at a meeting on sustainable consumption in Brussels organised by the Belgian Presidency, and footage featured on TV4 business news in Sweden.

What next?

The purpose of this documentary is to contribute to tangible improvements in the future. We are calling for inclusive dialogue within the Costa Rican pineapple supply chain to address the social and environmental issues illustrated by the film. Together with our European members we will continue to look to leading retailers to play their part.

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