Open to Imports

QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS

Quick Facts

  • Costa Rica’s real GDP will rise by 3.7% in 2018 after gains of 3.9% in 2017.
  • The real value of private final consumption rose by 4.5% in 2017 and growth of 4.3% is expected in 2018, driven by a relaxation or credit restrictions.

General Economic & Demographic Landscape

Economy:

  • Costa Rica's economy is growing at a pace roughly equal to potential. Real GDP will rise by 3.7% in 2018 after gains of 3.9% in 2017. Private final consumption will be the main driver. Steady gains in investment and exports also provide support. Costa Rica's high debt level weighs on investor confidence. A banking scandal and the effects of Tropical Storm Nate, which hit the country in October 2017 also cloud the economic outlook.
  • Prices rose by 1.6% in 2017 and an increase of 3.0% is forecast for 2018 as spare capacity is eliminated. The extent of dollarisation complicates monetary policies. The central bank has intervened in foreign exchange markets to shore up the colon against the dollar in an effort to maintain exchange rate stability.
  • Costa Rica has solid investment prospects thanks mainly to its high levels of human capital. More than two-thirds of the inflows of FDI come from the US but Washington's new attitudes on foreign investment could prove to be a problem.
  • The unemployment rate was 9.0% in 2017 and it will fall to 8.1% in 2018. Costa Rica has one of the highest levels of investment in education in Latin America. Shortages of skilled labour are nevertheless a problem. Although labour productivity has risen and wages are generally higher than in neighbouring countries, one out of three workers is paid less than the minimum wage. An estimated 45% of workers are employed in the informal sector.

Population demographics:

  • Costa Rica has been experiencing a population boom which will gradually decelerate in the medium term. Between 2000 and 2030, total population will increase from 3.9 million to 5.6 million. Costa Rica's potential workforce (those between 15 and 64 years) will be growing slightly faster than total population as a result of the prolonged population boom.
  • In 2017, the fertility rate was 1.8 children born per female; the indicator will fall to 1.7 by 2030. Women have begun to marry somewhat later in life and therefore are having fewer children.
  • As population growth slows, the percentage of the elderly will rise. In 2017, 7.9% of all Costa Ricans were more than 65 years of age, and the share will rise to 13.0% in 2030.

Income & expenditure:

  • Costa Rica’s savings ratio has been relatively stable over time. It amounted to 5.6% of disposable income in 2017 and it will fall to 5.5% in 2018.
  • Consumer expenditure per capita amounted to CRC4,590 thousand (US$8,246) in 2017. It should grow by 3.2% in 2018. Health goods and medical services will be the fastest-growing category in 2018-2030 due mainly to the continued expansion of private medical services.
  • During the period 2018-2030, total disposable income will increase by a cumulative value 62.7% in real terms - growing at an average annual rate of 4.1%.

QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS

Organic packaged food & beverage data

Data type

Unit

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

CAGR
(14-17)

CAGR
(17-20)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health & wellness products consumption

USD million

            1.6

            1.7

            1.7

            1.8

            1.9

            1.9

            2.0

4.0%

3.6%

Organic packaged food and beverages consumption

USD million

              -  

              -  

              -  

              -  

              -  

              -  

              -  

 

 

Organic packaged food consumption

USD million

              -  

              -  

              -  

              -  

              -  

              -  

              -  

 

 

Organic beverages consumption

USD million

              -  

              -  

              -  

              -  

              -  

              -  

              -  

 

 

Organic packaged food and beverages consumption as a % of total health & wellness products consumption

%

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

 -

 -

Economic & demographic data

Data type

Unit

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total population

million

            4.8

            4.8

            4.9

            4.9

            5.0

            5.1

            5.1

% Middle and upper class of total population

%

            0.3

            0.3

            0.3

            0.3

            0.3

            0.3

            0.3

% Population aged 65+

%

            0.1

            0.1

            0.1

            0.1

            0.1

            0.1

            0.1

% Population aged 0-14

%

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

% Population with higher education degrees

%

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

Average number of children per household

children

            1.1

            1.0

            1.0

            1.0

            1.0

            1.0

            1.0

GDP per capita

USD per capita

   10,050.1

   10,670.0

   11,214.3

   11,720.8

   11,999.0

   12,285.4

   12,631.6

Consumer expenditure per capita (US$)

USD per capita

     7,192.6

     7,496.8

     7,817.7

     8,129.5

     8,323.2

     8,523.3

     8,783.9

Consumer expenditure per capita on food and non-alcoholic beverages (US$)

USD per capita

     1,911.6

     1,975.2

     2,037.4

     2,101.4

     2,140.7

     2,183.7

     2,241.4

Retailer & City Data

Data category

Rank

City/retailer

Population
(mns)

 

 

 

 

Top cities by population (2017)

1

San Jose

             2.6

Top cities by population (2017)

2

-

 -

Top cities by population (2017)

3

-

 -

Top cities by population (2017)

4

-

 -

Top cities by population (2017)

5

-

 -

Top grocery retailers by sales (2017)

1

Palí

 -

Top grocery retailers by sales (2017)

2

Maxi Palí

 -

Top grocery retailers by sales (2017)

3

Walmart Supercenter

 -

Top grocery retailers by sales (2017)

4

Mas X Menos

 -

Top grocery retailers by sales (2017)

5

Automercado

 -

USDA GATS data

Rank

2017

2016

2015

2014

  Export Value (US$, thousands)

1

Apples

4.0

Apples

Apples

65.0

Apples

337.0

2

Peppers

Tomato Sauce

7.0

Lemons

45.0

Potatoes

15.0

3

Tomato Sauce

Peppers

Peach

34.0

Peppers

9.0

4

Cauliflower

Tomatoes

Pears

25.0

Tomato Sauce

8.0

5

-

-

Peppers

10.0

Strawberries

6.0

Total

270.0

45.0

198.0

380.0

Policy Information

Government Agency(s)/Competent Authority

Authorized Government Agency(s): 

The Department of Accreditation and Registry in Organic Agriculture (DARAO) at the direction of Plant Protection of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is in charged of legislation implementation

The National Organic Agriculture Program (PNAO) from the Ministry of Agriculture is in charge of the commercialization of organic products.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock's Servicio Fitosanitario del Estado (SFE) handles registration of organic certifiers, farms, and others.

Agency(s) Contact Information: 

PNAO:
Phone: 506-2260-8300 ext 2032
Fax: 506-2260-8300 ext 2088
Email: mcastro@protecnet.go.cr or fecheverria@protecnet.go.cr
Web

SFE
Contact: Blanca Castillo
Email: bcastillo@sfe.go.cr
Phone: 506-2549-3547
Web

DARAO
Phone: 506-2260-8300
Email: webmaster@protecnet.go.cr

Organic Regulations and/or Standards

Name(s) of Regulation and/or Standard: 

Organic Agriculture Regulation Decree No. 29782 - 2001 (in Spanish) modifies No. 25834 of 1997 and 29067 of 2000.
Implementing regulations, passed in 2009: Reglamento para la ejecución e implementación de la ley para el desarrollo, promoción y fomento de la actividad agropecuaria orgánica, No. 8591

Also:
- Environmental Law No. 7554 - 1995/ (Promotion, research and control)
- Phytosanitary Protection Law No. 7664 - 1997 and its Regulation No. 26921-1997 (administrative and legal competence)

Date of Implementation: 

1997

Regulation and/or Standard Scope: 

The production, characterization, processing, packaging, marketing, identification and certification of organic agricultural products, as well as research and extension aspects, should be subject to relevant legislation and the provisions of the regulation.

Imported Products Requirements

Imported Products: 

A Guide for Labeling Organic Products (in Spanish) is available from the PNAO.

Certification and Accreditation

Certification: 

Servicio Fitosanitario del Estado (SFE) maintains a list of accredited certifiers.

Accreditation: 

Certification organizations, inspectors, farms and suppliers must register with the Servicio Fitosanitario del Estado (SFE).

Additional Information

Reference Standards: 

The national control system has been recognized as equivalent by the European Union in 2003, which means that Costa Rica has a third country status according to EU 834/2007 and 889/2008 in the European Union.

Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, plus Panama and the Dominican Republic are benchmarking their standards to a regional organic standard - the Central America Regional Standard. August 2016 these regional standards were put before the World Trade Organization for comment.

Additional Information: 

Definitions

Review definitions of terminology included in this website.