After swimming in a waterfall and getting some much needed rest on our free day yesterday, we continued with some more company visits today focused on tropical agriculture! We visited a banana and pineapple plantation, which have a very different growing process than the coffee plantations we have studied so far. In regards to supply chain, I would say that the coffee process is far more complex than bananas and pineapples. The coffee bean has a significant amount of steps (such as washing, peeling, drying, roasting) until it can be sold to the public. While bananas and pineapples essentially just need to be grown and then picked before they are shipped off. However, this does not mean that the banana and pineapple process is necessarily easier, as these products are much more fragile than coffee beans and have to be handled with care.
In terms of sustainability, the banana plantation we visited emphasized how they do not waste any part of the banana plant. They will use everything either for eating, compost, or even growing new plants. The pineapple plantation we visited is 100% certified organic, which means they do not use any pesticides on their fruit. Some threats we learned about today were that at the banana plantation, they have to be careful of not just growing mono crops and must have a diverse plantation so that one disease does not wipe out all the crops. At the pineapple plantation, we learned that the fruits must be handled very delicately because if even one is bruised, the entire shipment could be rejected from the packaging facility.
If I was a plantation worker, I would probably prefer working at either a banana or pineapple plantation because I like how they used the machete to cut down the plants and those are two of my favorite fruits so I’d get a nice snack on the job 🙂