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CINDE Costa Rica

Plaza Roble Los Balcones, 4th Floor.
Escazu, San Jose, Costa Rica


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Agribusiness / Food Processing

When we say agro, we

mean business

Home to 9 of the top 40 Food Processing
companies in the world and growing

We focus on top quality and uniqueness

Thanks to its rich volcanic soils and incredibly diverse micro climates that offer a wide range of production options, Costa Rica has made agribusiness a part of its economy since the early 1800s. Coffee, banana, cocoa and pineapple still play a big part, but we've taken the food industry to another level.

Costa Rica focuses on top quality and uniqueness. Currently, more than 350 different agricultural and food-processed goods are exported to more than 130 destinations around the world. Such demanding and dynamic markets as Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, the United States, China, and Japan have become longstanding consumers of our exportable products. We are also home to 9 of the top 40 food companies in the world including Kraft, Cargill, Mondelez, Unilever, Bimbo, Chiquita and Dole. (Food Processing's Top 100, 2014).

These companies benefit from easy access to high quality, more naturally produced raw materials and agile logistics with transportation from the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts. But in addition, research and development services, technical expertise and support for certification processes; allow companies in Costa Rica to perform under the strictest norms including HACCP, ISO 22000, FSSC 22000, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, Kosher, M Halal, Rain Forest Alliance, USDA Organic, Fair Trade, among others.

The country has been recognized as one of the biggest suppliers worldwide of high quality agricultural products. From traditional goods like coffee, pineapple and cocoa, to cantaloupe, tubers, and mini-vegetables to the more exotic and trendy crops like aloe vera, soursop, mangosteen and rambutan. We also take this production further up the value chain and export jelly, toppings and candied fruits, tuber flour (gluten free), sauces, condiments, fruit concentrates and juices, purees, frozen or dried fruits, and delicious dairy products, among others.

An integral view on sustainable development drives Costa Rica to act under the moto that “we preserve to produce and we produce to preserve”. The country has developed further in the value chain with organic agriculture, production under controlled environments, “green” products, fair trade and biotechnology applied to agriculture.

Over 7,500 hectares are certified to grow organic products including bananas, pineapples, rice, ginger, assorted vegetables, aloe vera, cocoa and vanilla, among others. The most important export destinations include the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and the UK.

Research and findings in the biotechnology field, done by private and government laboratories, have allowed us to explore food engineering and create crops that are resistant to plagues or tropical diseases, creating new seeds (oil palms and cocoa varieties), new fruits (Pococí papaya), and new live organisms (Mediterranean fly) as bio-controllers for plagues.

Our ideal position between the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, also offers ideal conditions for aquaculture. Costa Rica has become a key exporter of tilapia, yellow fin tuna, bigeye tuna, mahi mahi, and swordfish. Sustainable shrimp farming activities are also in place. The final products exported to the US, Germany and other EU countries include gourmet jarred or canned seafood with a wide variety of flavorings including oregano, basil, mixed vegetables or even jalapeño among other specialties.

Aquaculture industries have also made further use of their byproducts for pet food production, fertilizer products or bioenergy generation as a result of methane gases from the residues to the point of becoming self-sustaing operations in regards to the energy required for operating.

Companies in the Agribusines, Food Processing or Aquaculture sectors can enjoy the most competitive incentives operating in areas located outside the Greater Metropolitan Area. Not only weather conditions are particularly beneficial for agribusiness and food processing but also, these areas offer tax incentives beyond those of GAMA: a 100% exemption on income tax for 12 years with extendable periods, and non-expiring 100% exemption on custom duties on imports and exports, on withholding tax on royalties, fees and dividends, on interest income, and on sales tax on local purchases, are just some of them.

In 2015, the exports in the Food sector, represented 22% of total manufactured exports.

download all statsCINDE based on data from PROCOMER, 2016

And our exports keep increasing:

Fresh Products

Exports of fresh products have grown 38% between 2009 and 2015, from US$1,410 million to US$1,945 million.

Coffee, Tea, Spices

Exports of coffee, tea and spices have grown 54% between 2009 and 2015, from US$312 million to US$314.

Alimentary sector

Between 2009 and 2015 exports of alimentary sector grew 58%, from US$945 million to US$1,489 million

Livestock & Fishing

Between 2009 and 2015 exports of livestock and fishing grew 94%, from US$172 million to US$335 million

download all statsCINDE based on data from PROCOMER, 2016


#1 in Security Index in Latin America Latin Business Chronicle, 2014.

Home to 9 of the top 40 Food Processing companies in the worldFood Processing's Top 100, 2014

#1 in Production process sophistication in Latin AmericaWEF 2015-2016

#1 in Cooperation of Employee-Labor RelationsWEF 2014-2015

#1 in University-industry collaboration in R&D in Latin AmericaWEF 2015-2016

#1 Educational system in Latin AmericaWEF 2015-2016

#1 in Innovation in Latin AmericaWEF 2015-2016

#1 in availability of Engineers and Scientists in Latin AmericaWorld Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016

learn about tax incentives, location and more visit why costa rica

Costa Rica offers the right

conditions for your business

Here are 6 reasons to choose us

  • 1.Political stability

    The second most politically stable and consolidated democracies in Latin America which provides the ideal climate to reduce risk and safeguard long-term investment.

  • 2.Preferential access to the world

    14 FTAs signed which provide access to 57 trade partners, including the European Union (27), the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, China, Peru and Sigapore among others.

  • 3.close proximity to USA

    Close proximity to the USA, with +1000 international flights leaving and entering the country weekly and nautical assess both from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

  • 4.broad offer of Industrial parks

    Several industrial free zone parks located throughout the country offering robust infrastructure.

    Learn more here
  • 5.Customized Technical Training

    In order to improve our human capital skills, we’ve created customized educational programs to fit the needs of the industry.

    Learn more here
  • 6.additional incentives

    Fast track immigration procedures, online customs expedited with transparency, and the most attractive tax incentives package in Latin America.

    Learn more here

Food Industry Sector executive contacts