Costa Rica’s Agri-Food Sector Must Prepare For Challenges and Changes of the European Green Pact

    Initiative proposes to achieve climate neutrality by 2050

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    The application of the European Green Pact will bring implications for the export sector of Costa Rica, since it is not only an environmental initiative, but it is also a turning point in trade with the European Union (EU), according to the recent study Implications of the European Green Pact for agri-food exports from Costa Rica, carried out by the Promoter of Foreign Trade (PROCOMER).

    The Green Pact is an ambitious geopolitical strategy, launched in 2019 by the European Union, which aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and for which it defined a matrix around the sectors that most affect: energy, industry, building, mobility, agriculture and food.

    According to the study, the implications for Costa Rica are more than what is evident, since the Green Pact is a project with global scope to establish standards in exchange for access to its internal market, for which, if successful, many countries and their companies must increase their competitiveness and it will be a constant in trade with the European Union. Hence the importance of Costa Rican companies, especially agricultural and food companies, anticipating changes and preparing.

    Marta Esquivel, Director of Planning and Business Intelligence, stated that the Green Pact is a project under construction, and for Costa Rica this implies permanent monitoring work.

    Reacting to the initiative

    For his part, Erick Apuy, economic analyst in charge of the study, added that, although all sectors must react to this initiative, the agri-food sector is the one that faces important changes in the short and medium term, for which he lists a series of considerations that, if they are not met, it will not be possible to participate in the EU market:By 2030, all food containers and packaging must be recyclable and have a percentage of recycled material.

    Any packaging material that is not strictly functional will be prohibited

    By 2030, the EU will reduce the use of pesticides by 50%, which implies a smaller list of authorized substances, as well as modifications in the maximum residue limits.

    At the end of 2026, the equivalence recognition system for organic certification will change for Costa Rica.Producers of coffee, palm oil, cocoa, wood and its by-products must show that their lands are free of deforestation, as well as geolocate their lands.

    “In Costa Rica we have important challenges in the application of the Green Pact, however, managing them correctly will allow the country to benefit and take advantage of opportunities such as the generation of local chains in sectors such as biocontrols and bioplastics, gain market space that other countries have left behind due to their lower environmental competitiveness, boost to the green transformation of sectors, transferring environmental added value to new developed markets beyond the EU, as well as specializing as a country in green services”, added Apuv.

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