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…

Pura Vida en la Plantación de Dole

¡Los gringos dicen “go bananas,” y los Ticos dicen “se vuelva loco”! Bananas was the topic of the day given that we visited a Dole banana plantation. Formerly known as the National Fruit Company, Dole grows and exports tropical fruits such as bananas and pineapples from Costa Rica. It is interesting to learn about the…

Bananas For Bananas

Today we visited the Dole plantation. This was really exciting for me as I eat at least a banana a day when I am at home and at Pitt. While on this tour I saw how much time goes into getting my daily banana. Similar to coffee, both fruits have many more steps in getting…

Going Bananas with Supply Chain

What first struck me about the banana planting and production process was how labor intensive it was. What we had to compare this to was the coffee production process. Both are very labor intensive to harvest but the bananas seemed much more strenuous to work with. The workers we saw were extremely efficient at cutting,…

Becoming a Banana Plantation Worker

In terms of supply chain of coffee and bananas, they each have similarities and differences. Coffee beans are sourced by purchasing seeds and planting them to create coffee plants. Bananas are all clones of each other in order to create similar looking fruits to be sold. Both coffee and banana plantations have to plan a…

Perla 2: The Dole Banana Plantation

Today, we took a two hour bus ride to the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica to visit Perla 2, one of the Dole fruit company’s three banana farms in Costa Rica. Comparing how coffee and banana farms operate, coffee farms tend to have more steps overall from growth to end of production, depending on whether…

This Place is Bananas!

Earlier today we visited a Dole banana plantation and it was super cool! Since we have already toured many coffee manufacturers, I couldn’t help but compare the two supply chains. One major difference that I noticed was the simplicity of the banana supply chain compared to that of coffee. Bananas simply have to be grown,…

Banana time!

Most of our trip so far has been focused on the supply chain of coffee, but today we got to visit a Dole banana plantation to take a deeper look at the production of another major Costa Rican export. Although coffee and bananas are both produced and exported from Costa Rica, their supply chains are…

Among the Banana Herbs

Our final site visit of the trip took us to one of the Dole Banana Plantations. The tour included all the steps in the process conducted on the plantation. First, we learned about the growing process on the farm itself, including how the plant grows, the bagging of the fruit to protect it from bruising…

Officially Gone Bananas!

            Being an extreme banana enthusiast, I was extra enthusiastic about visiting the Dole banana plantation. This visit was so fascinating and made me love bananas even more (which I did not know was possible). Like coffee, the banana growing and harvesting procedures are much more time consuming and in-depth than I ever would have guessed….