Organics Unlimited CEO Mayra Velazquez de Leon Kicks off GROW Month

Mayra Velazquez de LeonOrganics Unlimited President and CEO Mayra Velazquez de Leon

At GROW by Organics Unlimited, we are honored and excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the GROW program. Throughout the month of September, we will have an extra focus on all things GROW in order to raise awareness of the social responsibility program and inspire more distributors, retailers and consumers to become involved. Learn more about GROW and our social responsibility initiatives in this interview with Organics Unlimited President and CEO Mayra Velazquez de Leon.

Q: Why was GROW founded?

“I am the fourth generation of my family to work in growing organic bananas. Organics Unlimited founded GROW in 2005 as a way to give back to the co­mmunities and workers in Mexico and Ecuador that help produce our fruit. Bananas are the most frequently bought fruit in the world, and we want to ensure that continues by being conscious of and responsible for the communities and land in the areas where our organic bananas are grown.

Q: What kind of aid does GROW provide?

“Through the GROW program, those who purchase organic bananas with the GROW label help provide incredible opportunities to those who otherwise wouldn’t have them. In Mexico, for example, the GROW funds have contributed to vision care programs, dental clinics, scholarships for students and school supplies. In Ecuador, a clean water project has been established as well as an early childhood education program.”

Q: What can retailers and distributors do to spread the message of GROW?

“Of course, every box of GROW organic bananas you purchase directly benefits the farm workers and community members surrounding our banana plantations. The $0.60 surcharge on each box of bananas may not seem like much, but each purchase accumulates into a donation that can impact lives in Mexico and Ecuador. Your continued support creates substantial change.

“Additionally, special for GROW Month, we have created a bundle of promotional materials such as banana bags to help retailers and distributors share information about the mission of GROW organic bananas with their customers on social media and in-stores. For access to these materials, please contact”

Q: How can consumers get involved or support GROW?

“Every purchase of GROW organic bananas count, and we appreciate everyone who has helped raise awareness of GROW and its mission. In September, we celebrate GROW Month, which is dedicated to bringing awareness to how your banana purchases affect entire communities. This year is special as it is the 10th anniversary of GROW, and we encourage supporters to share the message of GROW on social media using #GROWTURNS10. And, if your local grocer does not offer GROW organic bananas, express your interest in the product to them. “

Follow GROW on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and support GROW Month using #GROWTURNS10.


GROW Student: María

Maria GROW

María Isabel Murillo Chávez has been a GROW scholar for two years. At 15 years old, she is midway through her high school studies. What she will remember most from this past school year is sharing some of the best moments with her friends. Continue reading

Tips for Marketing Organic Bananas to Millennials

banana and handA recent study sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company was cited in the July 2015 issue of Grocery Headquarters. The study, all about how Millennials shop for groceries, offered some key insights that grocery store retailers can use when wondering how to sell Organics Unlimited bananas toward the Millennial market.

Millennials spend $200 billion annually on groceries, averaging about $281 monthly per individual. That’s a large portion of the market, and through effective merchandising retailers can push products according to the generation’s needs. Continue reading

How Retailers and Distributors Prepare for GROW Month

GROW organic banana displayGROW Month, a 30-day celebration of Organics Unlimited’s nonprofit program, begins September 1. With each box of GROW organic bananas sold, a portion of the proceeds are directed toward the GROW fund and are used for youth education scholarships in Mexico, clean water programs in Ecuador, dental and vision care in Mexico, micro-loans for small family businesses and more. Continue reading

Keeping an Eye on Quality: From Soil to San Diego

Organics Unlimited Banana Farm

When considering how to provide the freshest, highest-quality bananas to retailers and distributors, it’s important to think of the logistical chain and ensuring the quality of the product throughout the growing and shipping process. From the soil to the storage of the bananas before distributors pick up their orders, Marco, the Operations & Logistic Manager for Organics Unlimited, oversees the entire process. He shares more information about how our organic bananas are grown, picked and transferred, all with quality in mind. Continue reading

Recipe: Banana Almond Granola Clusters

Recipe Banana Almond Granola Clusters

Store-bought granola can oftentimes be loaded with extra sugar. But these healthy granola clusters stay sweet with the help of a little honey, banana and almond butter. Organic bananas complement the seeds and nuts in this recipe to create a snack packed with necessary vitamins and nutrients. This snack is a crowd-pleaser for entertaining or a great on-the-go breakfast item for all ages. Continue reading

GROW Partners with Produce for Kids


GROW has partnered with Produce for Kids in its Power Your Lunchbox campaign. This digital marketing program aims to inspire more health-conscious lifestyles. This year, the Power Your Lunchbox campaign coincides with the 10th anniversary celebrations of GROW Month, happening in September.

The Power Your Lunchbox campaign, scheduled for August 3 through September 18, encourages families and individuals to take a pledge to pack healthier lunches during the back-to-school season, utilizing GROW bananas and other participating healthy brands. For each pledge taken, Organics Unlimited and other sponsor brands will make a donation to Feeding America® children’s programs that focus on health and wellness across the country.

Retailers, media and other trade organizations can support the Power Your Lunchbox program by joining GROW and Produce for Kids in a Twitter party at 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday, August 12.  You can find the party on Twitter by following for #poweryourlunchbox hashtag.

Other back-to-school messaging and healthy eating tips will be available from GROW throughout the Power Your Lunchbox campaign.

You can get involved in sharing the message of GROW during the Power Your Lunchbox campaign and GROW Month using #GROWTURNS10 on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

For more information on how you can help support please visit our GROW website. You may also follow GROW on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.

To learn more about our organic bananas and how you can supply them in your store, please visit

You may also follow Organics Unlimited on Facebook and Twitter for more news.