Los Angeles-based The Giumarra Cos. is adding organic and conventional acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash to its Fair Trade certified line of fresh produce starting in November.
The squash, including U.S. Department of Agriculture certified organic, are grown in Mexico and available through March.
“We are expecting retailers to continue to take a closer look at Fair Trade,” Gil Munguia, division manager of Giumarra Nogales, said in a news release. “Consumers are becoming increasingly more familiar with this certification, and our new squash selection nicely rounds out an important category for winter produce.”
Squash under the Nature's Partner label joins a winter line that includes conventional and organic bell peppers, cucumbers, seedless and mini seedless watermelons, cantaloupes and roma and grape tomatoes, as well as conventional asparagus. Next spring and summer, Giumarra plans to again offer Fair Trade cantaloupes, watermelons, grapes, tomatoes and asparagus. All are grown in Mexico.
Mexico is experiencing the largest growth in new categories of produce certified by the organization, according to Fair Trade USA, and 62% of all such certified produce imported to the U.S. is also USDA certified organic.
“With the successful execution of our program last season, the premiums we returned to farm worker committees in Southern Mexico helped fund infrastructure improvements to their housing and schools, in addition to underwriting student scholarships, bus transportation, and school supplies,” Kellee Harris, Western region business manager for Giumarra, said in the release.