San Diego-based Organics Unlimited has launched its GROW-labeled bananas on the East Coast.
All distribution of the organic bananas will be by Ephrata, Pa.-based Four Seasons Produce Inc. Four Seasons is receiving and ripening the fruit for markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
The GROW program, started in 2005, has provided more than $1 million from U.S. purchases of bananas for programs in Mexico and Ecuador that promote education, dental, vision care and safe water for farm worker communities. This year, it’s raised more than $200,000.
“We’re excited with the growth we’ve seen in the program and to have the GROW organic bananas available in the East,” Mayra Velazquez de Leon, president of Organics Unlimited, said Sept. 8 in a news release.
Each box of fruit has a surcharge of 60 cents that goes to the fund. Proceeds go to Children International in Ecuador and Project Amigo in Mexico.
“We want to be involved in supporting the communities in our banana growing regions,” Four Seasons general manager Jason Hollinger said in the release. “Our company is a major supporter of Fair Trade, but we realize that there are different ways to support the workers and their families. We’ve added GROW to give our customers another option.”