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Ghana: Fair trade organic pineapples for export

General information
Project location: Eastern region, Ghana
Consortium: AgroFair Europe BV, Volta river Estates
Project Budget: Euro 1.2 million
External financing: 50% grant funding by PSOM
Project period: August 2006 - September 2008

Only 25 years ago Europeans consumed less than 100,000 tons of fresh pineapple annually. In 2005, the import of fresh pineapple to Europe has quadrupled, reaching 419,000 tons. Notwithstanding the increased demand for fresh pineapples, this has been outstripped by pineapple plantings, as a result of which prices for conventional fresh pineapple have dropped, to the point of that the ‘exotic’ pineapple almost become a commodity.

The successful introduction of Fairtrade bananas by AgroFair has demonstrated that the European consumer is increasingly willing to

pay higher price not only for better quality of the product but also for a guarantee that the fruit is produced in a fair and sustainable way. AgroFair, winner of the 2005 Award for Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship, is very interested to support the production Fairtrade organic pineapples, which is a fairly new product with a high growth potential in the European retail market.

In joint venture with Volta River Estates Limited (VREL) from Ghana, AgroFair will invest in the pilot production of Fairtrade organic pineapples in Ghana, to be exported through West African Fair Fruit (WAFF) to AgroFair. The joint venture will in turn facilitate the smallholders cooperative Farmapine to start growing Fairtrade organic pineapples.

The project will set up the first pilot production in Africa of Fairtrade organic pineapple using the new MD2 variety to become a mainstr

eam supplier for European supermarkets. This will be realised at two locations, on certified organic land owned by VREL and Farmapine. The project will create employment under Fairtrade conditions and will give the opportunity to the smallholders of Farmapine to grow a crop that they can sell to the premium markets of Europe.

The project will lead to (1) a joint venture company between AgroFair and VREL, which will in tur

n enter into a long-term strategic cooperation with Farmapine; (2) a Fairtrade organic pineapple farm of 45 ha and smallholders scheme of 15 ha both environmentally friendly through organic production; (3) export of Fairtrade organic pineapples through WAFF and (4) a business plan for follow-on investments.

Investments include irrigation, a pre-cooling store and offic
If the pilot proves successful, the joint venture will make follow-up investments in production expansion. The project will contribute to strengthening of the West African Fair Fruit organisation to become a profitable export company, specialised in sourcing, quali


ty control and shipping of Fairtrade fruit from Ghana and other West African origins.e, farm equipment, and organic pineapple planting material. Training, mostly by experienced staff of AgroFair and VREL, is a main component of the project and will focus on organic pineapple farming, cultivation and irrigation technical aspects and logistics and handling.



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