SAN DIEGO (Dec. 2, 2014) – Organics Unlimited Inc., a San Diego-based organic banana company, is proud to announce two personnel moves. Dulce Mendoza has been promoted to operations and logistics administrative assistant and Luz Bautista recently joined the team as billing administrator.
“We are extremely excited to hire and promote from within our talented team,” said Mayra Velazquez de Leon, Organics Unlimited President. “The demand for organic produce continues to increase and, with the help of both Dulce and Luz, we can continue to provide excellent customer service.
“They are a tremendous asset to the team and I look forward to our company’s continued growth.”
San Diego born and raised, with strong Mexican roots and more than 10 years of experience supporting C-level executives, Bautista understands what it takes to work for a company that has a multi-national presence. She studied marketing at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.
“Organics Unlimited is on the rise,” said Bautista. “I am very excited and lucky to have joined the team at such a vibrant time.”
Mendoza started with Organics Unlimited in February of this year. Her experience includes customer service, warehouse management and inventory control management. Mendoza continues to pursue her education in business management, while serving in her new role at the company.
“I am very fortunate to be a part of an amazing organization that is not only family-owned, but also rapidly growing,” said Mendoza.
SAN DIEGO (Sept. 8, 2014) Organics Unlimited is launching GROW organic bananas on the east coast, it was announced today by company president Mayra Velazquez de Leon. All distribution will be handled by Four Season Produce in Lancaster County, Pa. who receives and ripens the bananas for markets in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern parts of the country.
“We want to be involved in supporting the communities in our banana growing regions,” said Four Seasons General Manager Jason Hollinger. “Our company is a major supporter of Fair Trade, but we realize that there are different ways to support the workers and their families. We’ve added GROW to give our customers another option for buying good, quality organic bananas that also have a way to give back to others.”
Started in 2005, the GROW program has now provided over $1 million of support for programs in Mexico and Ecuador that promote education, dental, vision care and safe water. “We’re excited with the growth we’ve seen in the program and to have the GROW organic bananas available in the east,” said Mayra Velazquez de Leon, president of Organics Unlimited. “In the past few years, we’ve seen a major increase in interest from our customers, which has allowed us to expand funding to additional programs and promising young people.”
From 2012 to 2013, GROW support increased by almost 150 percent. This year, GROW has raised over $200,000 in funds to help continue efforts in social responsibility. All funds come from the purchase of GROW bananas in the US. Each box of fruit has a surcharge of $.60 that goes directly to the fund. Proceeds from the funds go to Children International in Ecuador and Project Amigo in Mexico to help build opportunities for workers, their families and communities.
GROW retailers also benefit from the merchandising support available through the Organics Unlimited website. While materials are available year round, the celebration of GROW Month in September provides a special consumer focus that expands shoppers awareness of the added benefits of buying the GROW label. Of interest to consumers this year will be an increased selection of personalized stories about the impact that GROW has made on their lives.
San Diego, CA – Every September Organics Unlimited celebrates GROW Month, a time when more emphasis on the GROW program is placed on consumer awareness. Having raised over $1 million in support for scholarships, educational programs, and health clinics in the banana growing regions of Ecuador and Mexico, GROW Month has become a very important part in retailer promotions.
“Every year we see GROW Month expand among our customers,” states Mayra Velazquez de Leon, President and Founder of Organics Unlimited and GROW. “I have nothing but gratitude towards the enthusiasm and support our customers show for GROW.”
From 2012 to 2013, GROW support increased by almost 250 percent. This year, GROW has raised almost $200,000 in funds to help continue their efforts in social responsibility. Proceeds of the funds go to Children International and Project Amigo to help build opportunities for the workers, their families and their communities.
“It is very important to us that our customers have all the essential tools and information they need to raise the awareness of the GROW program to encourage the efforts supported with the purchase of every organic GROW banana,” says Velazquez de Leon. “We are all working together to change lives for the better.”
Organics Unlimited continues to offer free point-of-purchase materials to their customers. Complete with header cards, recipe cards, and other signage, all items in the free online store by Organics Unlimited is available for free download for self-printing. Printing is available at a reasonable cost. Banana bags are also available for special order.
San Diego, CA – The GROW Fund, a non-profit certification developed by Organics Unlimited in 2005, has partnered with Produce for Kids in their Power Your Lunchbox Pledge. This one-of-a-kind digital marketing program will take place from August 11 through September 15, inspiring more health conscious lifestyles.
The Power Your Lunchbox Pledge encourages families throughout the U.S. to take a pledge to pack healthier lunches for their children utilizing GROW bananas as one of the participating organizations. For each pledge taken, Organics Unlimited will make a donation to DonorsChoose.org in support of programs that focus on health and wellness classroom projects across the country.
“Organics Unlimited is always looking for new, innovative ways to express the benefits of healthy living through organic bananas,” states President of Organics Unlimited, Mayra Velazquez de Leon. “We are very excited to join Produce for Kids in their efforts to create a healthier nation.”
Tie-ins with back-to-school messaging and healthy eating will be at the forefront of the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge website. A Twitter party will also be held on Wednesday, August 20, 2014, for anyone interested in communicating with the participating produce companies first-hand.
San Diego, CA – Organics Unlimited has added 370 acres of certified organic banana production in Michoacan, Mexico to increase their supply of bananas. This new acreage will provide an additional six to seven loads of product per week in the summer and about four loads per week in the winter. This translates to a low in winter of 3840 cases, and a summer high of 6860 cases of bananas.
“We are very excited to expand Organics Unlimited to not only increase production for our customers, but also to ensure the growth of organic bananas in the marketplace,” says President of Organics Unlimited Mayra Velazquez de Leon. “As demand in organic produce continues to grow, this new farm will help continue to support the industry in providing more sustainable and healthy bananas to consumers.”
According to a survey run by the Organic Trade Association, organic fresh produce accounts for 90.8% of all organic fruit and vegetable sales. Organic fresh produce also saw an increase in sales by a little more than 13% in 2012 to $9.7 billion, and it is expected to increase this year.
“Adding more acreage in Michoacan will help provide current and future customers the opportunity to request more produce at a convenient location,” states Manager of Operations and Logistics of Organics Unlimited Marco Garcia. “Having our farms near the U.S. and Mexican border allows for lower carbon footprint and quicker distribution for a fresher product.”
San Diego, CA (March 18, 2014) – Alberto Ramirez Rivera, former GROW scholar who graduated in 2012 from the University of Colima with a major in agronomy, has recently joined the farming operations of Organics Unlimited. Ramirez is the new general manager of production at Rancho El Tesoro, the company-owned banana farms in southern Mexico.
“We are excited to have Alberto as a part of our growing team in Mexico,” said Organics Unlimited President Mayra Velazquez de Leon. “He was an outstanding student and a natural leader from the time he joined the GROW program in junior high school. When the position became available, we sought him out based on what we had previously seen with his interest and commitment both to our program and with his work ethic.”
In his new position, Ramirez is responsible for the quality of the fruit, from planting through harvesting. This includes the application of organic fertilizers, protection from pests and quality control at harvest. “Throughout my studies I have had a passion for organic growing and the benefits for both the workers and the environment,” said Ramirez. “I am very proud to be part of this great organization.” Ramirez worked as a young boy on banana farms in the local area, and is one of 44 students who have now completed university studies through the GROW program.
The GROW program was started by Organics Unlimited in 2005 to help the communities in the areas where their bananas are grown. Since that time, the program has provided over $750,000 for programs in Mexico and Ecuador that cover a variety of social issues: education from elementary to university level students, safe drinking water, vision clinics, dental clinics and early childhood education. All funding for GROW is through a small surcharge on the sale of GROW bananas.
San Diego, CA (February 18, 2014) – Organics Unlimited Inc. has announced the hiring of Marco A. Garcia as Manager of Operations and Logistics and George Pazos as Controller to further its pursuit of becoming one of the largest competitors in the market for organic bananas.
Organics Unlimited President Mayra Velazquez de Leon recognizes the growing trend in organic products. “We have an incredible opportunity in this emerging market, and we wish to not only continue our excellence in product quality and customer service, but further expand our distribution across the U.S. and international markets. George and Marco are here to do just that.” In addition, Mayra believes, “George and Marco are making an immediate impact in the company, capitalizing on our national brand recognition and expanding our distribution centers across the country.”
Marco brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in supply chain management and a passion for superior customer service. He was previously the Regional Logistics Manager for six years at Heineken Mexico where he managed the company’s supply chain in adherence to compliance and quality assurance. “I pledge to promote continued growth by reinforcing our company’s prestige and image through excellent customer service,” said Garcia.
George Pazos has over ten years of financial and human resources experience in multiple industries. Earlier in his career, George served as a purveyor of fine fruits and vegetables for Andrews Produce Company. In his most recent positions, he was the Payroll Specialist and Human Resources Manager for M Bar C Construction as well as the Human Resources and Purchasing Director for Marine Group Boat Works. “I am inspired by Organics Unlimited’s dedication to social responsibility. A major factor for my joining the team was the GROW program and the wonderful opportunities it provides for farm workers,” said Pazos.
Organic products are becoming increasingly popular among consumers in the United States. According to a USDA report released on October 24, 2013, industry analysts estimate that U.S. organic food sales were $28 billion in 2012 (over 4 percent of total at-home food sales), up 11 percent from 2011. The organic industry is predicted to generate an estimated 42 billion U.S. dollars in 2014. In addition, the top U.S. organic product imports in 2013 were bananas, which valued close to $215 million.