Fairtrade Stories – Ucador Banana

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In the past, small farmers often affected by Ecuador banana market instability. When there is sufficient market supply, they have to harvest them  with lower price sale, or even no one shows interest. In 1997, 14 Ecuadorian banana smallholders established fair trade cooperatives , The El Guabo Association. Since joining fair trade, fair trade minimum price has become their shield  to ensure that they can recover the cost, and the extra margin provide better development of communities. They set up a “Community and Environmental Improvement Programme” (PROMESA), democratically decided to spend at least 80% for education, health care and environmental protection, and the remaining 20% ​​is used to improve the farm’s facilities, a total of more than 2,000 peasant families can be benefit from it.
Community and environmental improvement projects include:

  • Low interest loan
  • Construction of two medical centers, hired two doctors and a respiratory therapist
  • Provide health insurance and health care benefits to members and workers
  • Construction of special schools and hired a full-time speech therapist and a physical therapist, 17 teachers provide scholarships to the children of workers
  • Allowance for workers child to purchase necessary items to school
  • Required to provide workers with a monthly bag of food
  • Empowerment of women through women organizations
  • Providing clean water
  • Construction of packaging station and cleaning station on concrete
  • Construction of the cable system to facilitate the delivery of bananas to the cleaning station