Inclusive and sustainable agriculture in Costa Rica – a quality label to promote solidarity-based trade

Andreas Stamm
#Latin America

Compared to other Latin American countries, Costa Rica has good indicators for economic growth and social development. Historically, it has managed to combine inward growth with intelligent use of the options offered by international markets. In recent decades, the country has undergone a strong structural change, with new export activities generating well-paying jobs and accelerated urbanization. While this has allowed for solid economic growth rates, it has also meant an increase in social inequality and greater territorial disparities. A considerable part of the population living in Costa Rica’s rural areas feels left behind by the changes and has lost confidence in the political system. This puts the country’s governance in jeopardy. This article proposes a seal for the country’s family agriculture as an instrument for promoting social and territorial cohesion. A seal that highlights the peasant origin of agricultural and agro-industrial products can enable producers to compete with imported products and ensure attractive sales channels with good prices. It can also have an important symbolic value, transmitting the message of solidarity and shared identity between the urban population and rural areas. In order for producers to perceive positive changes in the near future, several sales channels should be served simultaneously, namely supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, e-commerce and tourism. The certification process should be robust and at the same time simple, to avoid delays and high costs.


Andreas Stamm

German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)

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