San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Study: Costa Rica’s natural food producers should eye Canada’s West Coast

Canada’s West Coast offers Costa Rican exporters of health and natural foods great business opportunities, according to a market study by the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER).

Results of the research released this week found that consumer habits in that region would allow local producers to find business partners willing to pay a good price for their products. In addition, Canadian cities along the west coast generally set consumption trends for the rest of the country, making the region an attractive stepping stone.

This is due to the area’s proximity to the U.S. west coast, mainly San Francisco and Los Angeles, the study found. Migrant populations in that part of Canada, mostly Asian and European expats, is also a major factor boosting the consumption of products from foreign markets, PROCOMER reported.

Value-added products

Research found that differentiated foods that provide special benefits have a great potential for the retail market in Canada’s West Coast; examples include products that offer support for athletes, health-related benefits or weight-loss support, or products that facilitate a special diet, are 100 percent natural or are GMO-free.

PROCOMER Market Research Coordinator Karina López said in a news release that the region’s potential for local exporters is significant.

“Health and natural foods accounted for 8 percent of the total share of packaged food in Canada last year. That is higher than the current world average of 4.9 percent,” she said.

Market share

Distribution channels in the region are also convenient for Tico exporters unable to supply large retailers. West-coast regional chains and independent stores control some 40 percent of the food retail market there, López added.

“Research found that the most consumed natural food products in Canada between 2011 and 2015 were fruits, vegetables, coffee, sugar, tea and chocolate,” she said.

Fruit juices, purees and premixes, sauce varieties, and powdered mixes account for 98 percent of Tico exports of food products to Canada in recent years. That’s why PROCOMER officials seek to expand the number of food products sold to that country. Costa Rica is currently Canada’s 42nd-largest business partner.

Canada ranks sixth worldwide in sales of organic products and of sport nutrition products. Sales in these categories, according to official records, are expected to grow by 2 percent annually in the next 5 years.

Contact L. Arias at

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How does Costa Rica dodge this Monsanto bullet?
a Mexican court upheld a late 2013 ruling that temporarily halted even pilot plots of GMO corn following a legal challenge over its effects on the environment.”
“Mexico is the birthplace of modern corn, domesticated about 8,000 years ago and today the planet’s most-produced grain.”

Monsanto and Coca-cola Co. and Cargill and Laura Tamayo are all “in bed” together with the production of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). If Monsanto’s gmo corn were to destroy 8,000 years of modern corn, what then? Who’s gain?
Typically anything coming from Reuters, likened also to CNN reporting, it normally hits my garbage can first, in favor of real news reporting. For the how-so, I shall repeat the following as example.
Sept 30, 2004. Cargill, the largest privately-held corporation in the United States and a producer of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), challenged the Mexican tax on HCFS. The tax was levied on beverages sweetened with HFCS, but not those sweetened with cane sugar. As in the CPI and ADM cases, Mexico argued that the tax, which impeded U.S. exports of HFCS to Mexico, was legitimate as a counter to the U.S. refusal to open its market to Mexican cane sugar as stipulated by NAFTA. The tax also helped safeguard the Mexican cane sugar industry, consisting of hundreds of thousands of jobs, from the postNAFTA influx of U.S.-subsidized HFCS that threatened those jobs. Cargill asserted that Mexico’s HFCS tax violated NAFTA’s obligations concerning national treatment, most favored nation treatment, expropriation, fair and equitable treatment and performance standards. A tribunal ruled in favor of Cargill, awarding $77.3 million, the largest award to date in an investor-state dispute brought under a U.S. FTA. In addition, the tribunal ordered Mexico to pay for the tribunal’s costs and half of Cargill’s own legal fees. The tribunal decided that U.S. agribusiness 35 giant Cargill and Mexican sugar producers were “in like circumstances” and that the HFSC-only tax thus discriminated against Cargill, even though it also applied to Mexican HFCS producers. The tribunal further declared that the tax amounted to a NAFTA-banned performance requirement and a violation of Cargill’s right to “fair and equitable treatment.”
77.3 million + 13.4 million interest. 90.7 million total settlement. (tax payer)
This settlement did not come from a USA supreme Court decision or a Mexican supreme court order. it was ordered by the ISDS. This system – called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) – empowers individual foreign corporations , to which there are thousands, to skirt domestic courts and sue governments before a secret panel of three corporate lawyers. These lawyers award the corporations unlimited sums to be paid by taxpayers, including for the loss of expected future profits. Their decisions are not subject to appeal. Final. NAFTA and ISDS are one.
Looks like it is now Monsanto’s turn to attack natural resource policies, environmental protections, health and safety measures, pollution cleanup requirements ,and other public interest policies that Mexico relies upon to protect their safety and financial stability . In Canada there is no difference and such penalties undisclosed. If disclosed, it would display the government incompetence at it’s first signing.
“We made a mistake; it’s just that simple,” Tamayo said. “For 18 years we didn’t explain (to the consumer) what is biotechnology, what’s it for and why it’s safe.”

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