© Eurofresh Distribution
Costa Rica’s orange production is forecast to dip slightly to 285,000 tons in 2020/2021 from 290,000 tons in 2019/2020, according to FAS data. Delays in the harvest caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in loss of fruit at the time of harvest during 2019/2020. The industry had to make considerable investments in the application of sanitary protocols and new infrastructure to limit the spread of the disease among workers. Most of these measures are now in place for the upcoming harvest. Many of the workers come from Nicaragua for the harvest. The industry has worked closely with the local authorities to allow workers to enter Costa Rica under strict sanitary protocols. The United States is Costa Rica’s main destination for its orange juice (purchasing 75 percent of total exports in 2019), followed by the European Union, and China. Costa Rican orange juice enters the United States duty free under the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement.