Irish fruit firm Keelings purchases 900ha farm in Costa Rica

Irish family-owned fruit and salad company Keelings has announced the acquisition of a 900ha pineapple farm located in Costa Rica.

The farm, known as Las Brisas, is “a significant operation” with over 900ha of land, 460 employees and a modern pack-house producing over 24 million pineapples each year. Keelings have been strategically aligned with Las Brisas for the last number of years and have been successfully producing Zero Residue Pineapples for the last 12 months.

The statement outlined that the farm is the first certified pineapple farm in the world to produce and export pesticide-free pineapples.

The Costa Rican Pineapple Export Auditor (CANAPEP) recently awarded Las Brisas the title of Number One Pineapple Farm in Costa Rica for sustainable environmental practices, food safety and staff welfare.

Caroline Keeling, CEO of Keelings Fruits, commented on the acquisition: “This acquisition further demonstrates our commitment at Keelings to both growing and sourcing quality fruit in the best way possible. We are delighted to welcome the Las Brisas colleagues to the Keelings family of companies. Their ethos and sustainability commitments in production and in local community activities are values we both share.”

Las Brisas is the only pineapple farm in the world that has achieved the Rain Forest Grade A accreditation on all of its products resulting from its focus on sustainability. The pineapples from Las Brisas will be sold into all major European markets and the US.

The family-owned business also has a 50:50 joint venture in a Costa Rican melon farm Pura Vida, which is based in Nicoya. The groups fruit range includes strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and apples. More recently, Keelings added peppers and salads to the range, as well as flowers such as lillies.

Headquartered in Dublin, Keelings employs approximately 2,000 people across its operations in the UK, Europe and is currently expanding into France.