Organics Unlimited's Mayra Velazquez de León Discusses GROW Program
SAN DIEGO, CA - Amongst the many things consumers consider when making the decision to either try or pass on a product, health and sustainability often fall somewhere on their mental checklist. Organics Unlimited’s GROW label organic bananas are sure to check all of shoppers’ boxes, as they align perfectly with the demands of today’s health-conscious consumer.
“We passionately believe in our GROW program and know firsthand the impact that it has on our growing regions. Our Fair Trade and GROW labels are two paths to the same goal of advocating for sustainable prices for farmers and supporting growing communities,” Mayra Velazquez de León, President and Chief Executive Officer, says as we kick off a conversation.
Organics Unlimited’s year-round GROW social responsibility program includes a charitable fund dedicated to making positive social change by offering scholarships, healthcare support, environmental resources, and disaster relief to poverty-stricken banana growing regions including Mexico and Ecuador. Since the program began in 2005, GROW label banana purchases have provided close to $3 million for the company’s fund to help farming communities that need it most.
The supplier’s GROW program simultaneously makes a positive impact on the communities in its growing regions and provides key benefits for retailers looking to prioritize sustainability as well as ROI.
“Growing our organic bananas in Mexico provides a short transit just a few days from harvest, meaning we are able to respond to client needs with lightning speed,” Mayra explains. “It also means a longer shelf life, better tasting product due to proximity, better freight rates, and a lower carbon footprint. Our GROW social responsibility program holds appeal as a straightforward, transparent model with proven impact. As growers ourselves, we know firsthand what our small farmers and communities need. This means that retailers can count on us for a transparent, direct-to-grower program that can fully quantify their impact.”
As Mayra sheds light on opportunities for grocers to maximize ROI with Organics Unlimited’s GROW program, she also notes a critical change needed within the retail sector.
“We are passionate about educating consumers on the ‘true cost’ of food and breaking the $1 price ceiling on bananas, and we support retailers in this endeavor,” she tells me. “We feel strongly about the work that we do to give a voice to the people who grow our food, and—alongside other value-based companies who share a similar message—we know consumers will be on board, which will result in a win-win across the supply chain.”
To help grocers explore new ways to elevate the banana category as a whole, Organics Unlimited offers a multitude of resources, including virtual and in-person education sessions on a number of topics, downloadable POS materials, resources to highlight retailers’ impact on growing communities through the GROW program, and volunteer work-week trips to its farms in Mexico.
Organics Unlimited’s GROW label organic bananas are the perfect opportunity to tap into the increasing demand for both sustainably grown and organic products. AndNowUKnow will continue to shine a light on growers and their unique programs and strategies, so stay tuned.