The pineapple is the second fruit harvest of importance after bananas, contributing to over 20 % of the world production of tropical fruits (Coveca, 2002). Nearly 70% of the pineapple is consumed as fresh fruit in producing countries. Its origin has been traced to Brazil and Paraguay in the Amazonic basin where the fruit was domesticated.
Brazil, Thailand, Philippines, China are the main pineapple producers in the world supplying 52% of the total output. Other important producers include India, Nigeria, Kenya, Indonesia, Mexico and Costa Rica and these countries provide most of the remaining fruit available (48%). Since 1960, pineapple production worldwide has risen by 400%. With the introduction of the "Gold" variety, developed and patented by Fresh Del Monte in the 1990's, the production of pineapple has grown again by nearly 50% since 1998. The world fresh/juice/canned pineapple trade has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. One pineapple in two is now grown for sale on the export market. With an increased consumer demand for fresh pineapple and juice totalling nearly 30 billion pounds a year, the pineapple export industry has developed into a complex supply chain. Historically, Hawaii was the world's largest pineapple producer and source for US pineapples. The pineapple variety that has gained enormous popularity over the last 10 years, known as Del Monte Gold, Dole's Gold MD-2, and the Maui Pineapple Company's Hawaiian Gold, was first engineered in the Pineapple Research Institute of Hawaii in the 1970's. All canned pineapple production in Hawaii has halted in recent years, due to cheaper production costs elsewhere. However, fresh pineapple can still be produced at a profit for sale in Japan, the West Coast US, and for local consumption. There are currently two fresh pineapple operations left in Hawaii, one on Maui and one on Oahu.
Twelve countries absorb 90 % of the world demand of fresh pineapple. The US leads the demand and France, Japan, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Canada, Spain, England, Korea, Netherlands and Singapore share the rest of the supply.
Pineapples dominate the world trade of tropical fruits, although other fruits have gained market share. Statistics from the year 2000 indicate that the pineapple trade took 51 % from a total of 2.1 million tons of the whole fruit market with mangoes taking second place, with 21.7 %.
Dole Food Company, Inc. (Dole) is the second largest global producer of fresh
pineapples worldwide, and the world's largest producer and marketer of fresh fruit.
Dole also markets fresh vegetables, fresh-cut flowers, and packaged foods. In 2004,
Dole owned and operated on over 150,000 acres of land around the world. In 2007,
Dole had net revenue of $6,171.5 million and made $89 million in profits. Dole sells over 200 products and operates in over 90 countries (with a presence on each continent) and has approximately 45,000 employees. Dole is a wholly owned private company belonging to David H. Murdock who is one of the richest men in the world. Dole is vertically integrated, so it controls production, packaging, export, shipping, import, and ripening of its fresh fruits and vegetables. In 2004, Dole sold over 25 million boxes of pineapple worldwide. Pineapples were eight percent of the company's fresh fruit revenues in 2007. The company reports that its pineapples are cultivated on a mixture of Dole's farms, leased land, and independent farms in Latin America (mostly Costa Rica), Philippines, Thailand, and other places. Dole owns approximately 6,600 acres of land in Honduras, 7,300 acres of land in Costa Rica and 3,000 acres of land in Ecuador, all related to pineapple production, although some of the land is not presently under production.
Top 5 facts sources:
1. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2008). Retrieved Nov, 2010.
2. International Labour Rights Forum. (2008). "The Sour Taste of Pineapple: How an Expanding Export Industry Undermines Workers and Their Communities" Retrieved Nov, 2010.
Sources: FAOSTAT data, 2016 (last accessed by Top 5 of Anything: July 2016).
List Notes: Data is the top 5 pineapple producing countries in the world in metric tonnes for the year 2013 (the latest available data as of July 2016). This top 5 list may include official, semi-official or estimated data gathered on pineapple production by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.