SECTOR CAPABILITIES - Pineapple
Discover the superior taste of Ghana’s Green Gold
Ghana offers premium pineapples to the world and customers of Ghanaian pineapples attest to its superior taste. Ghanaian pineapples are available all-year-round and the dominant varieties are the following:
- MD2 – This hybrid is a sweet and juicy pineapple with deep yellow skin and a square shape that allows it to sit on the shelves better. MD2 was introduced in Ghana in 2004, and together with Smooth Cayenne, they are the main varieties grown for export. Growing to a uniform size of about 1–2.5 kg and ripening evenly, the yellow beauty has a longer shelf life as compared to other varieties.
- Smooth Cayenne – This visually attractive pineapple stands out because of its balanced sweetness and acidity. Smooth Cayenne has an average weight of 1.5–2.5 kg when ripe and yellow and has a cylindrical shape. This variety was the dominant variety grown in Ghana until mid-2000 and is up to today the choice for importers on the lookout for high-quality pineapples with fresh colour, suitable for canning as slices and cubes due to sufficient fibre, as well as an excellent flavour.
- Queen Victoria – These pineapples are sweet specialities. Queen Victoria stands out because of its full yellow flesh and small size—this fruit weighs on average between 0.5–1 kg. This variety is demanded on the export market, too, and accounts for 2.5% of export volumes.
- Sugarloaf – This variety is sweeter than the Smooth Cayenne and MD2 and is also known as the Ghanaian smallholder’s pineapple because it often grows directly in their backyards. The conical-shaped Sugarloaf has white, highly flavoured, juicy flesh and weighs 0.68–1.36 kg. The Sugarloaf pineapple has several other advantages compared to other pineapples – it requires 30% less chemicals, 50% less fertilizer and less water to grow. Please find more information about this variety below.
Spotlight: Ghanaian Sugarloaf
The Sugarloaf variety comes with a tough, yet thin and waxy skin which makes it somewhat softer than most other pineapple varieties. It maintains its vibrant green colour even when ripe, with golden yellow to orange tones.
Its white flesh is extremely juicy with a floral aroma and a creamy, non-stringy texture. The flavour is exceedingly sweet with hints of honey, and almost no acidity. The edible core is just as sweet to the taste, and unlike other varieties, not woody or fibrous.
Sugarloaf pineapples are the favourite variety of pineapples among French people and in the next few years, it will also be introduced to other European markets.
Meeting international standards
The wide offer of pineapple varieties in Ghana leads to multiple buyer options. The good quality of Ghanaian pineapples is further guaranteed by the availability of post-harvest infrastructure. This includes automated packing lines, cold storage facilities, haulage trucks, and more. The combination of stringent standards of hygiene and process control ensures the high quality of Ghanaian fresh pineapples.
The Ghanaian pineapple sector has seen a constant upgrade in systems and infrastructure since 2016 thereby making the reliable supply of high-quality pineapples a hallmark. These systems include the following:
- At least annual review of all process-related activities to confirm GLOBALG.A.P., HACCP and traceability.
- On-farm pre-shipment inspections at various locations.
- Fruits are harvested at the optimum time of maturity.
- Fresh shipment, not later than 48 hours after harvest.
As part of an ongoing upgrade of the country’s quality infrastructure, existing standards within the pineapple value chain have been reviewed and several codes of practice have been developed. This was done with the help of the Swiss Government and the United National Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The upgraded standards and codes of practice were submitted in 2016 and include:
- GS 1126 – Specification for pineapple for processing
- GS 966 – Pineapple Planting Material
- GS 969 Parts 1 & 2 – Good nursery Practices
- GS IM 1 – Inspection of the manual for the inspection of fresh pineapple
- GS 101 – Specification for pineapple
- GS CAC RCP 53 – Code of Hygienic Practice for fresh fruits and vegetables
- GS 704 – Specification for pineapple juice preserved exclusively by physical means
Europe is the primary market of Ghanaian pineapples, specifically Belgium, France, and the UK. Proximity to the European market means the environmental footprint from distribution is relatively small compared to shipments from Asia and Latin America. Turkey, Seychelles, and the Middle East are emerging markets for pineapples from Ghana.
Reasons to buy
Sourcing pineapples from Ghana provides buyers with the following clear advantages:
- All-year-round supplies.
- Wide choice of sweet and juicy pineapple varieties, including
- Smooth Cayenne
- Queen Victoria
- An ongoing upgrade of the entire pineapple value chain results in the highest quality pineapples.
- Relatively small environmental footprint from distribution due to Ghana’s proximity to the European market.
Show: Wad African Foods Limited
Show: Eve-Lyn Farms
Show: Golden Riverside Ltd.
Sea-freight pineapple exporters of Ghana (SPEG)
SPEG is a professional organized body with specialization in the export of high quality pineapples. Check out their website to learn more about:
- Advantages of dealing with SPEG
- Their quality system
- SPEG members and affiliates
- Their own ‘Sankofa’ brand