Costa Rica Post Office To Provide Foreigner ID Cards Starting June posted by on May 15, 2012
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Stating next year, the Correos de Costa Rica (post office) will be processing passports for the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (immigration service).

The change was announced on Monday by the ministro de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública, Mario Zamora and the director of Migración y Extranjería, Kattia Rodríguez.

The project is in two stages, the first beginning next month when 10 branches of the Correo de Costa Rica will begin processing foreigner identification cards.

Starting June 1, foreigners need no longer visit and be part of the long lines at the La Uruca immigration office to process their ID cards.

Meanwhile, in 2013, all 60 branches of the post office will be also be processing passports to Costa Ricans, again eliminating the need to come to San José.

The change is to avoid the eternal long lines that span out for blocks every day outside the central immigration offices in La Uruca.

Kattia Rodríguez, Director of Immigration, said the project called “Migramóvil” allowing the transfer of immigration officials to remote communities, has had great results.

One example cited by the director is the more than 800 people who have been attended to in Pital de San Carlos, who did not have to travel to San José.

The list of the Correos to process foreigner ID cards has yet to be posted on the immigration service website.

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Rescue dog from Costa Rica needs permanent home in Portland posted by on May 14, 2012

Papillo, a 2-year-old mutt from Costa Rica, could be called a very lucky dog.

While he was hit by a motorcycle, which left him unable to use his hind legs (not so lucky), he had a chance encounter with Sarah Foster.

Foster, a veterinary technician who runs a clinic in Costa Rica called Nosara Animal Care, found him dragging himself by his front paws.

Inspired by Papillo’s positive attitude and gentle nature, she decided to help. She searched her network of veterinarians and found Rochelle Low, veterinary neurological specialist at VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Clackamas.

They arranged for Papillo  to fly to Portland. Low picked him up after his long flight and X-rayed his spine at the clinic.

She discovered that his spinal cord had been completely severed, and he’d never be able to walk again.

“He had such a wonderful personality,” Low says, “we decided to find a way to help him thrive, so we bought him a wheelchair.”

The wheelchair seems to be serving Papillo well.

“Papillo loves his cart,” observes photographer Carli Davidson, who took photos of him for her popular “Pets with Disabilities” project. Low contacted Davidson after seeing the project featured recently on The Huffington Post.

The day she photographed the dog, she says he ran two miles and played in the park.

He loves play time and walking, but he also enjoys relaxing with his human friends.

Papillo is seeking a good home in Portland, but his potential parents must have the time and commitment to make sure he gets the proper care.

He doesn’t have control of his bowels or bladder, so he will need to wear a diaper while he’s inside. He also needs help expressing his bladder, a skill that’s easy to learn but must be done on a regular basis to make sure he doesn’t get bladder infections.

At 30 pounds, Papillo is relatively petite, so getting him into and out of his cart is a fairly easy procedure, and the cart is easy to operate.

If you’re interested in adopting Papillo, contact VCA Northwest Vet Specialists in Clackamas at 503-656-3999, ext. 312, or send an e-mail to rochelle.low@vcahospitals.com.

Papillo.jpgCarli DavidsonPapillo was rescued by a kind-hearted veterinary technician in Costa Rica, who contacted a veterinarian in Portland who she knew would help him. He has been equipped with his own wheelchair and now just needs a special home to call his own.

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Costa Rica Denies Entry to Cuban Stranded at Airport posted by on May 14, 2012

SAN JOSE – Costa Rica’s migration court rejected on Friday a request for asylum from a Cuban who has spent the past 50 days at San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport.

The court also ruled, however, that 27-year-old Enrique Arias cannot be sent back to Cuba.

A spokeswoman for the Costa Rican Migration Directorate told Efe it will be up to her agency to determine what should be done with the Cuban.

Arias fled Cuba two months ago for Panama with hopes of reaching Mexico.

But when he tried to board a Mexico-bound flight at Juan Santamaria International, officials detained him after detecting that he was traveling on a forged Costa Rican passport.

He then applied for asylum in the Central American country and responded to San Jose’s initial rejection by appealing to the Costa Rican migration court, only to be refused a second time.

Costa Rica could send Arias back to Panama or try to find a third country willing to accept him.

The migration court barred the government from returning Arias to Cuba, giving credence to his claim that his life would be in danger if he were sent back to the Communist-ruled island.

Arias told Costa Rican media that he left Cuba to avoid harm after authorities learned he was part of a social movement in possession of evidence of torture and human rights violations by the regime in Havana.

In recent months, immigration officials have reported a large increase in the number of Cubans entering Costa Rica via neighboring Panama.

Most of the roughly 12,000 people who currently enjoy refugee status in Costa Rica are from strife-torn Colombia. EFE

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Costa Rica: There Could Be A Gas Shortage Starting Tuesday posted by on May 14, 2012
he continuing conflict between Costa Rica’s transporters of fuel and the Ministerio del Ambiente, Energía y Telecomunicaciones (MINAET) could result in parked trucks and causing a fuel shortage starting Tuesday.



The conflict between the truckers and the government environmental and energy agency centres around the renewal of permits.

If the truckets decided to stall deliveries, many of the country’s gasoline stations will be left without fuel.

According to the MINAET, the government has already given four extensions to comply and will affect only trucks with licenses plates ending in 5 and 6, whose permits expire on Monday, May 14.

To avoid a shortage, trucker are asking for more time to present their renewal documents.

According to the MINAET only 139 of the 941 registered tankers have submitted their renewal application to the Dirección General de Transporte y Comercialización de Combustible (DGTCC).

The government agency said that only 10 applications are still outstanding and in the process.

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Call Centers in Costa Rica Could Face Competition from Unpaid Workers posted by on May 14, 2012

At any given time in Costa Rica, tens of thousands of Ticos take calls from consumers in other countries who are in need of service and support. These agents work in call centers mostly located in the Central Valley, and the majority of the calls are handled in English -although demand for Portuguese-speaking agents is growing.

What would happen to the economy of Costa Rica if an army of unpaid workers decided to gleefully take over customer service and tech support from them? According to a recent article in The Economist, the new trends of “unsourcing” and peer-to-peer support could become a thorn on the sides of the outsourcing and call center economies of India and the Philippines. Should Costa Rica be worried as well?

According to the article in The Economist, more customers are helping each other when it comes to getting tech support on devices or software:

Instead of speaking with a faceless person thousands of miles away, customers’ problems are answered by individuals in the same country who have bought and used the same products. This happens either on the company’s own website or on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and the helpers are generally not paid anything for their efforts.

The potential of unsourcing should prove attractive to executives and operations managers, and it’s already happening. Here are the examples cited by The Economist:

  • GPS maker TomTom saved $150,000 and solved around 20,000 tech support queries in just two weeks after the company turned the function over to its social media channels.
  • One Logitech customer has fielded 45,000 tech support tickets related to webcams without being paid.
  • A British virtual mobile operator, similar to TuYo Movil here in Costa Rica, entices its customers to go online and work on open tech support tickets in exchange for points that can shave off pence from their montly phone bills.

Other companies considering unsourcing include electronics retail giant Best Buy in the United States and laptop manufacturer Lenovo. An example of a close-knit community in Costa Rica that provides mutual tech support on Facebook is the mapping and traffic information app Waze.

Foreign companies are attracted to set up their call centers in Costa Rica due to the availability of skilled workers and cost efficiency. Costa Rica has become a hub for outsourcing in the last few years, and recent trends point towards near-shoring and third-party outsourcing, whereby firms in India that have been contracted by American and European companies unload their excess work onto Costa Rica.

Near-shoring in Costa Rica is attractive for American companies with customers who are not used to Hindu accents on the phone, but are more receptive to Hispanic accents. There is also the issue of perceived familiarity. Customers sometimes ask call center agents where they are located, and upon learning that they are talking to someone in Costa Rica, the customer is bound to say something like: “Really? My cousin was just there with her husband on vacation and they loved it!”

Costa Rica is betting on its workforce to attract more foreign investment and boost economic growth, particularly in the high-tech sector, but the call centers are still significant. Should unsourcing and peer-to-peer customer support grow, Ticos who work in call centers may have to look for other jobs.

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The Figueres family led Costa Rica’s revolution, and now its green revolution posted by on May 14, 2012

As the Bonn climate talks begin, John Vidal speaks to former president José María Figueres about Costa Rica’s journey towards sustainability

Jose Maria Figueres, former president of Costa Rica

José María Figueres, former president of Costa Rica, has taken over as head of the Carbon War Room. Photograph: Jay Mallin/Getty Images

Say the name Figueres in Costa Rica and it’s bound to get a reaction. José “Don Pepe” Figueres led the 1948 revolution, was president three times, nationalised the banks and gave women and black people the vote. His daughter Christiana is the UN’s climate chief trying to steer almost 200 countries through the most complex international negotiations ever attempted; and her brother José María was one of Latin America’s youngest ever presidents at the age of 39.

Now José María – who coined the phrase “there’s no planet B” when head of the World Economic Forum – has joined his sister in the fight for a global energy revolution by taking over as head of the climate change business thinktank Carbon War Room, which aims to get business to cut gigatonnes of carbon by sharing best practice information.

She hopes to lead the world’s public sector into a low carbon future, he the private sector. But is it an accident of history or sibling rivalry played out on the international stage that accounts for so many revolutionaries in one central American family?

“I call her ‘Hermanita’, or Little Sister,” says José María. “We pulled each other’s hairs out [as children]. It’s always been a fierce but friendly rivalry between us. We have worked together before. When I was minister of agriculture she was my chief of staff. I was the boss, but she solved the problems. When I was president she was on the government’s climate negotiating team. I like to think she is responsible for finding solutions for 50% of the carbon cuts needed and I must find them for the other half. I’d love to be her chief of staff.”

Their father was a landowner and coffee grower who launched a revolution of intellectuals and farmers from the small family ranch he called “La Luccha sin Fin” (the endless struggle) high in the central mountains. The revolution was, he says, based on a liberal, Scandinavian model of universal healthcare, public education, and strong institutions.

“Mother was an MP and later a diplomat. Father taught us the values of no wastage and austerity and of a life in harmony with the natural habitat. We learned politics at the family table. We ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every conversation was about politics, the challenge of development, inequalities and legislation. A table with all of us was so argumentative. There must have been something in the water we drank,” he says.

But José María says that when 18 he wanted a change and chose to go to leading US military academy West Point, whose alumni included presidents Ulysses Grant and Dwight Eisenhower as well as five people who have walked on the moon. This is remarkable, he accepts, because his father is the only president in modern history to have abolished a standing army. “Father had a fit when I went to West Point. He never went there. Perhaps it was my challenge to him,” he says.

There followed years at Harvard, as an engineer, a farming boss and then in public service. “I was invited to turn around the railways and then I was made minister of agriculture and forests. We concentrated on resource management and efficiency. We moved to the biological control of pests instead of pesticides.”

When he was elected Costa Rican president in 1994, the Berlin wall had come down, the Soviet Union had imploded, the Gulf war had been fought and the Rio Earth summit had been held. He says the world had changed and Costa Rica would not be able to compete in the new world without new ideas – so he turned to business and sustainable development.

“I brought in economists like Jeffrey Sachs. I was strongly influenced by people like Maurice Strong [who headed the Rio earth summit] and his adviser on business, the Swiss industrialist Stefan Shmidheiny who set up the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

His single term – all that was allowed – was the start of Costa Rica’s move towards an economy based on eco-tourism, conservation and national parks. “It began my thinking about the ethical and moral necessity to be efficient with natural resources,” he says.

Today, “eco-travel” is the country’s biggest industry, worth billions of dollars a year, and sustainable development has proved lucrative. Most farmers benefit in some way from eco tourism, and, from a country in real danger of losing all its forests in 1970, 25% is now dedicated to conservation.

“Climate change is the ultimate challenge. But I am convinced that the development opportunity of our lifetimes lies in the transition to a low carbon economy. If we are to solve it we need to scale up our responses. We need to attract capital and resources to get there.”

The Carbon War Room has addressed shipping and aviation and will move to become a major international NGO, says José María. “Business needs to learn from civil society. The world can live far better than it does now. Six billion people aspire to live like the other one billion. That is a just aspiration. I really believe that moving to a low carbon economy would unleash entrepreneurship.”

But how would Don Pepe, the old revolutionary, see his two children today? “He would be at the forefront of the renewable energy revolution. He’d be enjoying it. He’d get a kick out of smart grids. Meanwhile, big brother is not waiting for little sister. I wish her the best but we in business are going full steam ahead. At the moment I think business is doing better than countries on climate change, but the jury is out. I know if it were up to Christiana alone that governments would be leading ahead by leaps and bounds.”

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Tourism and Exports in Costa Rica affected by Mobile Devices and changes in Internet Marketing posted by on May 14, 2012

When laptops offered more features (such as Webcams, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi), the sales of desktops began to decline. Before netbooks could gain a significant market share, smartphones and tablets grabbed their mobile market share. The change is so rapid that it is hard to find reliable statistics. Studies performed in 2011 are now outdated. Studies made this year will be ancient history next year. However, the studies do show a trend in how we interact with the Internet. Following are a few highlights of the ever changing world of mobile devices:

  • An International Telegraphic Union study for the year 2011 shows that there are 5.9 billion global mobile cellular subscriptions, which equates to about 87% of the world population. In mid-2011, there were 1.2 billion mobile broadband subscriptions (broadband connections cover both smartphones and data cards), with 90% of the world covered by 2G, and 45% having 3G coverage. The report provides no statistics on global 4G coverage.
  • In a Google Mobile Ads blog entitled “Consumers love there smartphones. Now businesses must fall in love with mobile.”, Jason Sepro predicts that 1 billion people will use mobile devices as their primary Internet connection by the end of 2012.
  • According to the latest global statistics from Share Wales, Android holds 50.9% of the market share for mobile devices. iOS dropped to 23.7%, and Symbian has slipped 11.7% of the smartphone market. Windows Phone 7 commands only 1.9%, which is well behind RIM’s (Blackberry) 8.8%.
  • Scripd presents an infographic summary of the April 2011, Google/IPSOS report. This report shows that 77% of the mobile device users rank search engines as the most visited Web sites. 51% of the users searched for dining information. While 47% searched for shopping information. The study shows that 89% searched the the Web, because of an urgent need for information.
  • A Viacom study (reported by Endgadget) shows that the tablet has replaced the desktop and smartphone, as an alternative second TV. Out of the total time spent watching TV shows, 15% percent of the viewing occurs on tablets. When a cable company offers a streaming app, consumers are more likely to use the streaming app than the Web browser.

The growth in the number of mobile devices accessing the Internet also changes how advertising dollars are spent. The following statistics indicate how mobile devices impact on purchase decisions:

  • The Scripd infographic, see above, shows that 9 out 10 smartphone users take action as a result of their smartphone search. 53% of the users make a purchase as a result of their search.
  • A US local business search graphic at Our Mobile Planet shows 51% called the business, 47% looked up the business on a map, 52% visited the business, and 27% made an in-store purchase. Surveys for this study were made during March and July of 2011. A Pew Internet study (performed in February of 2012) shows that 74% of the smartphone users now use location-based information.
  • A study by Flurry shows that as of July 2011, apps consumed more Internet time than Web browsing on mobile devices. The two largest categories for apps were games (47%) and social networking (32%). Since the study, more social networks have released apps, and the social networking apps are vastly improved over the versions available at the time of the study.
  • According to comScore, a majority of smartphone users access travel information on their devices. Seven out of eight users researched airline / hotel prices from their smartphone. In addition users researched airline phone numbers, checked flight schedules, and checked flight status. Only 21% of the smartphone users availed themselves of smartphone check-in.
  • In an article entitled “Mobile now accounts for more of a consumer’s time than TV,” On Device Research reported that mobile devices account for 27% of a consumer’s media time, versus 22% for TV. Moreover, 76% of the mobile users plan to conduct mobile commerce (mCommerce) activities over the next year. Of those users, 42% say that mobile advertising introduced them to something new, and 14% indicated that they will make a mobile purchase as a result of the ads.

The above global statistics impact the future marketing trends of Costa Rican tourism and export businesses. For local Costa Rican businesses, the growth in mobile devices in Costa Rica offers an opportunity to increase their connection with customers, and improve their sales. Whether a person takes a picture of a QR Code, or uses the browser to search for local information, the first contact is often the Web site. Yet, the vast majority of Web sites, including those in Costa Rica, are not mobile device friendly.

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Honduras and Costa Rica Propose Protections for Hammerheads posted by on May 11, 2012

Fish News EU
The governments of Honduras and Costa Rica have today proposed protections for scalloped hammerhead sharks under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

 

According to the Pew Environment Group, who have praised the initiative, CITES is widely considered one of the best-enforced international conservation agreements. “It’s time for strong international protection for endangered scalloped hammerhead sharks,” said Maximiliano Bello, senior adviser to the Global Shark Conservation Campaign of the Pew Environment Group. “Other governments should join Honduras and Costa Rica in supporting a sustainable future for these sharks.”

Scalloped hammerheads are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They are in high demand for shark fin soup and account for about 4 per cent of all shark fins in international trade.

Government delegates from the 175 CITES member countries, including Honduras and Costa Rica, will vote on the hammerhead and other possible shark proposals at next year’s meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). During this meeting, which will take place on March 3-15, 2013, in Thailand, governments will determine the fate of scalloped hammerheads as well as many other threatened and potentially threatened species. The proposal also includes smooth and great hammerhead sharks because of their close resemblance to the scalloped hammerhead.

“The decision to propose a CITES Appendix II listing for these hammerhead species sends a significant conservation message and builds upon shark conservation efforts under way in Central America,” said Rigoberto Cuellar, the Honduran minister of natural resources and environment. “We hope that other countries will agree and will co-sponsor our proposal.”

“The time has come to regulate international trade of endangered hammerhead sharks,” said Ana Lorena Guevara, vice minister of environment for Costa Rica. “The loss of these top predators would be detrimental to the health of our oceans.” (5/10/12) (photo courtesy Internet)

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IBM To Invest $300 Mln In Costa Rica Facility posted by on May 11, 2012

- Features cloud computing center of competency – High value information technology services to focus on service management, security, data storage and business analytics – Support for IT professional training in universities

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica and ARMONK, N.Y., May 10, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — IBM IBM +0.53% officially opened today its new Costa Rica Delivery Center, in America Free Zone, Heredia. IBM will invest US$300 million over 10 years, and intends to employ up to 1,000 people by 2014. The new center will provide high-value services for clients around the world, reaffirming Costa Rica’s position as a strategic services hub for IBM. The facility will support clients in the areas of IT security, data storage, business analytics, cloud computing, and other services in demand by IBM clients.

 

 

The new center will provide cloud infrastructure support and management, to help clients simplify and enhance operational efficiency. Cloud computing provides clients with the ability to reduce their IT infrastructure costs, have a standardized, virtualized platform, and enhance their process automation. Additionally, the center will provide technology capabilities that can anticipate and help prevent fraud and IT hacker attempts.

IBM IT experts will support global clients with service management, data storage services, automating data backup and providing support for a variety of storage platforms and tools. Business analytics capabilities will help clients analyze complex data and enable smarter decision-making.

“With IBM’s state-of-the-art facilities, thousands of Costa Ricans will be able to showcase their talent, pushing Costa Rica further down the path of innovation, knowledge and technology; a path that we have bravely undertaken with courage and commitment, but most of all, with great confidence in the talent of our people,” said Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla.

“This partnership between IBM and Costa Rica, as we engage in this adventure towards a more modern and technological world, is essential to our country. It becomes our driving force while reminding us of the important challenges that lie ahead,” added President Chinchilla.

IBM has services professionals in more than 170 countries with the industry’s largest number of infrastructure experts. The center in Costa Rica opens new opportunities for IBM clients in Latin America. With this center, IBM expands the local services operations it has been delivering since 2004, in the areas of human resources processes, call center, finance and administration, and shared services.

“This opening is very important for IBM, as our global services are a key differentiator from our competitors,” said Patt Romero Cronin, General Manager, IBM Global Technology Delivery. “The cloud computing capabilities of the new center, combined with cloud-based support provided by IBM from the United States, India and China, are important to our clients.”

“The IT services that IBM will deliver from Costa Rica require complete fluency in new and innovative technologies, which will bring along a significant technology transfer and will allow us to strengthen and scale our participation in global chains of high-value technology,” said Anabel Gonzalez, Costa Rica Foreign Trade Minister.

IBM Collaborates with the Costa Rican Education SystemIBM also announced that it is pursuing efforts to build skills in Costa Rica. IBM is working jointly with the public and private universities, Costa Rica Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) and the government. The aim is to provide academia with technology, knowledge and access to specialized software to improve training and education, and to strengthen the curricula of IT programs around four main themes: cyber security, cloud computing, data storage and business analytics. The purpose of the IBM University Program is to provide students with new information technology skills that are in high demand in Costa Rica.

“The Ministry of Science and Technology is fully committed to aligning academia and the IT industry for development in strategic areas such as digital technology,” said Alejandro Cruz, Costa Rica Minister of Science and Technology. “The articulation between academia and industry will provide the opportunity to improve technical and higher education in more advanced skills of computing science and technology. This initiative, I am sure, will have full support from the main public and private educational institutions, which will allow our human capital to strengthen the competitiveness of Costa Rica for its future development.”

“Strengthening our skills and access to new technologies, such as the ones used by IBM, will improve the country’s competitiveness as a location for foreign direct investment,” said Gabriela Llobet, CINDE Director General. “It will portray our country as more innovative and open to learning new technologies, setting us apart from our regional competitors and raising us up to the highest level worldwide.”

IBM will offer access to IBM tools and technologies, courseware and IT education with the development of professor modules over the coming months. The company intends to develop knowledge, promote innovation and train skillful IT professionals to ensure a pipeline of innovative talent.

“The IBM University Program is aimed at meeting the needs that arise from the rapidly changing and complex world of information technology,” said James Rutledge, IBM Vice President, Latin America Global Delivery and Costa Rica Site. “Our mission is to work jointly with faculties to improve and increase the competitive IT workforce in Costa Rica in line with our goal to develop new skills for the twenty-first century and a Smarter Planet.”

For more information about IBM, please visit: www.ibm.com/services .

Media Contacts:

Catalina SileskyCommunications Manager, IBM Costa Ricacsilesky@cr.ibm.com+ (506) 2509-6272Mobile: + (506) 8366-7440

Carola SchaubExternal Relations, IBM Latin Americacschaub@co.ibm.com+ (57) 628 14 84

Tara Sucato Tsapepas External Relations, IBM U.S. tjsucato@us.ibm.com 917-472-3701

Andrea CentenoCommunications Director, CINDEacenteno@cinde.org +(506) 2201-2873+(506) 8876-9461

SOURCE IBM

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Coffee Growers in Costa Rica Unable to Meet Starbucks’ Appetite posted by on May 11, 2012

Despite early rains and an optimistic forecastfor the next two coffee harvests in Costa Rica, Tico growers are concerned that demand will outpace supply and may not be able to meet orders from retail coffee shop Goliath Starbucks.

In an article by Sergio Arce of national newspaper La Nacion, the president of the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica (iCafe) explained that Starbucks is not the only buyer affected. Green Mountain, a staunch rival of Starbucks in the household coffee arena, is another prominent buyer of high-quality beans from Costa Rica. The German coffee brand Hochland Kaffee is another fan of our coffees, as are Nespresso and Peet’s Coffee and Tea from the United States.

Starbucks is the most active buyer of CoopeDota’s coffee, one of Costa Rica’s premier growers and roasters. Twenty percent of CoopeDota’s production is snapped up by Starbucks as soon as it is offered, according to Director Roberto Mata. Ronald Peters, president of iCafe, stated to La Nacion that Starbucks purchases ten percent of the national coffee production.

Importing Coffee Could be the Answer

A previous article in The Costa Rica Star explained how Tico growers recently traveled to Brazil and looked at their crops with the intention to import coffee from the South American giant in order to meet demand.

Two representatives from Starbucks in Costa Rica spoke to La Nacion about their purchasing practices. Carlos Mario Rodriguez, director of agricultural affairs for the American retail chain in Costa Rica, explained that the purchasing patterns of the company around the world vary according to production and demand. Barbara Schmidt, director of Coffee and Farm Equity (CAFE) Practices indicated that purchasing is not solely based on low prices, but also on best production practices.

It is not clear whether Starbucks would purchase coffee from roasters in Costa Rica knowing that it has been imported from other countries. What is clear, however, is that Starbucks sells our coffee at premium prices. A pack of three 12 ounce bags (about a kilogram) of Starbucks-brand Tarrazu medium roast goes for about $30 on Amazon -when supplies are available.

Opening Soon

The first Starbucks in Costa Rica will open later this month at the upscale Avenida Escazu. The company has been busy setting up the coffee shop and hiring employees.

The company recently score a courtroom victory in a United States federal appeals court related to its labor practices. The court sided with Starbucks with regard to its policy prohibiting employees from wearing pro-labor union pins. According to a recent article on MSNBC, none of the company’s 7,000 stores in the United States are unionized.

Starbucks has not commented on whether Tico employees will be allowed membership in labor unions or employee solidarity associations (document download from Hacienda.go.cr).

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