Organics 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 email@example.com.”
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. “