Our Fairtrade organic bananas are organically-grown by farmers like Wilson Sanchez, in the Muyuyacu mountains high in the Ecuadorian Andes.
Good for the growers
Like all Fairtrade farmers, Wilson receives a fair and stable price for his crop all year round. This has helped him to gain his independence, to take control of his farm and future.
Wilson is pretty proud to be an agro-forestry farmer – specialising in organic farming methods and protecting the local environment for future generations.
Wilson’s farm is abundant with wildlife - sweet water crab, frogs, sparrowhawks, woodpeckers, parrots, and toucans. A sure-fire sign of healthy soil and waterways that are not being poisoned by toxic chemicals typically used in conventional banana farming.
Good for the land
El Guabo’s organic farmers are certified by the US Department of Agriculture’s -National Organic Progamme (USDA-NOP) and European Union organic standards. Much like the organic certifications such as BioGro in New Zealand, the USDA – Organic standards set out strict production methods integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilisers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering are strictly prohibited. The organic producers in El Guabo are audited annually to make sure they’re up to scratch.
What many people don’t realise is that Fairtrade certification also sets some pretty strict environmental standards. Farmers use organic fertiliser and sustainable farming techniques where possible to help limit their environmental impact. Under FLO standards over 120 chemicals are prohibited, including some pretty nasty ones such as paraquat (or agent orange), which are still used on some conventional banana plantations.
Organic or not?
While all of our organic bananas are grown and certified to organic standards, as with all imported fruit they need to undergo MPI fumigation on arrival in New Zealand to meet our strict biosecurity standards. MPI need to treat shipments to make sure they don’t contain any Ecuadorian stowaways.