Adios, For Now

Over the last two weeks, we have delved deeper into the supply chain of coffee and bananas than I ever thought was possible. The supply chains widely differ even just between these two crops! Nevertheless, it is certainly enlightening to learn about how much a single product, coffee, altered Costa Rican culture to be the…

Sourcing

Throughout the past two weeks we have learned a lot about many aspects of the supply chain of coffee and bananas. My group focused on how firms in each link of the supply chain make decisions in reference to sourcing. We quickly found out that sourcing is not just limited to where you get the…

Pura Vida!

Over the past two weeks, we’ve visited various coffee plantations and a banana plantation. I’ve learned so much from these visits and had a wonderful time learning more about the Costa Rican culture from the homestay families. From these visits, we focused on the supply chain and how each step in the chain affects the…

Costa Rica Plus3, WOO!

The past two weeks in Costa Rica have been an eye-opening experience. I have learned the intricacies of the coffee industry and developed an appreciation for its layered complexity. We have also dabbled in the supply chain of bananas at Dole and this has expanded my analysis of the production process itself. My group has…

Hasta Luego Costa Rica

Since my topic was make, the majority of what I’ve learned the past two weeks relative to my topic has been in the coffee and banana plantations. Throughout this trip, I have learned the processes of growing coffee cherries and bananas and how to harvest them. Coffee cherries are grown, then picked from November to…

The Last Day in Heredia

In the past two weeks, I’ve been assigned to observe each visit from the perspective of the Design/Innovation phase of the supply chain. Looking back at the coffee and banana plantations (suppliers), the focus on Design was somewhat nonexistent. At the coffee plantations, their bread and butter was planting and harvesting coffee to be shipped…

The Journey of Coffee Bean

As with any business, project, or assignment, proper planning can be the factor that makes or breaks success.  As the saying goes, “Proper planning prevents poor performance”.  This is certainly the case when it comes to agriculture but even more specifically the coffee and banana plantations we visited in during our time in Costa Rica. …

Hasta Luego, Costa Rica

I am so sad to be leaving this beautiful country tomorrow 🙁 These past two weeks have been filled with some of the most incredible experiences. I have learned TONS about the supply chains of coffee and bananas and all of the planning that goes into it; it’s an incredibly complex process! The process starts…

Banana Land

Today we got to visit a banana plantation near the Caribbean, which was a lot of fun to say the least! Our tour guide and speaker was super funny and loved to present the banana production process to us in a very fun and interactive way. He taught us a lot about banana production and…

Un Viaje a la Plantación de Bananos

After visiting the Dole banana plantation today, it is clear that sustainability in the coffee and banana supply chains is not the same.  For example, while Dole reuses the plastic that covers the bananas, the coffee plantations we’ve visited have focused more on making use of unnecessary materials (such as the coffee pulp or parchment)…

Bananas for Bananas!

I believe at this point in the trip, it is time to admit that I hate coffee, no matter the quality. We’ve been to quite a few coffee plantations and studied the coffee supply chain a lot, so I’m glad the time for bananas has come. I want to look at the banana supply chain…

Taking a Break from Coffee: Time to Go Bananas!

Today, our group got to visit the Caribbean side of Costa Rica and explore the Dole banana plantation in Sarapiqui. This was a nice change, as all our previous tours and studies have been focused on coffee. The banana supply chain is quite different from coffee’s, mostly because it is much simpler and has fewer…

Bananas grow on HERBS

I loved visiting Dole today to witness the supply chain of bananas! Experiencing a different process that is so important to Latin America and especially Costa Rica was extremely interesting and engaging. The company that we visited, Dole, produces about 30 million cartons of bananas in Costa Rica a year, out of the 128 million…

Going Bananas For Dole!

I was not expecting a banana plantation to look like the one I saw today. Green plants, twice my size, and big leaves enveloped us and filled the land as far as my eyes could see. We visited Dole’s Banana Division in Costa Rica to learn about the process and the supply chain of the…

Dole: Connecting My Home To Costa Rica

Back home in Pennsylvania, Dole is my family’s favorite banana producer. My mom only ever comes home with Dole bananas after a trip to the grocery store. So, today, when we had to have an extremely early start just to travel to one of the Dole plantations in Costa Rica, I knew it would be…

Let’s Go Bananas

Throughout the whole first week, we mainly focused on the supply chain of coffee. Today, we got to learn the supply chain of bananas. Both are similar in that they both are complicated, but at different steps of the supply chain. For coffee, sourcing the coffee cherries into coffee beans is very long process: each…

Orange You Glad We Got to Explore Bananas

With only three more days in Costa Rica we went to our last company tour, but instead of coffee, we ventured into the world of Dole bananas. The banana industry is extremely big and vastly interesting considering bananas are the fourth most consumed food in the world. Today we learned about how bananas are grown,…

Day 9: Dole

              Though coffee plantations and banana plantations share the same country, there are still some differences between the two crops’ supply chains. The largest among these is the amount of vertical integration we’ve observed with both crops. For the coffee firms we have visited, there seemed to always be vertical integration between two levels or…

All About Bananas

The Dole banana plantation is very concerned with health, safety and sustainability. One of their main concerns is for the fruit. Due to the monoculture of the banana, disease and fungus are on of their main concerns with the fruit’s health. The monoculture could mean that a singular disease could destroy an entire field of…

Bananas: a Simpler Supply Chain with its own Challenges

Today we visited a banana plantation owned by Dole. The bananas are grown, harvested, and packaged for export on the plantation. This is possible because of the simpler supply chain of bananas and other tropical fruit when compared with coffee. With coffee, the original supplier must first grow coffee plants and harvest the cherries. In…