Robinson Fresh has donated $1 million to breast cancer research organizations since the inception of its MelonUp! Pink Ribbon Watermelon program in 2007.

The Eden Prairie, Minn.-based produce company began the cause-marketing retail program to help educate consumers about the nutritious benefits of watermelon, according to a news release.

The fruit is high in lycopene, a plant-based antioxidant linked to reducing certain types of cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.

For each watermelon purchased, Robinson Fresh makes a donation to cancer research, education and support initiatives. It also works with retailers throughout North America to give back to their communities by participating in and sponsoring local events to raise funds.

Each October, Robinson Fresh presents donations to breast cancer research organizations selected by each of the participating retailers.

This fall, the company will donate $173,000 to North American organizations on behalf of more than 20 retailers.

“Donations like those on behalf of the MelonUp! Pink Ribbon Watermelon program play a critical role in the development of major advances in the fight against breast cancer,” David Egan, co-executive director at Susan G. Komen Minnesota, said in the release. “The contributions are used to increase early detection and effective treatment, fund additional research, and ultimately create a world with more breast cancer survivors.”