Category Archives: Press Releases

Organics Unlimited Celebrates Ninth Annual GROW Month this September

Organics Unlimited Logo

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.

GROW by Organics Unlimited Partners with Produce for Kids

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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.

Organics Unlimited Adds 370 Acres for Organic Banana Farming

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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.”

GROW Scholar Takes Leadership Role at Organics Unlimited

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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.”

Beto, Production Manager

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.

Organics Unlimited Expands Team Amid Emerging Market

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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.

OU Bananas – Marco Garcia (Left) and George Pazos (Right)

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.

Organics Unlimited Sends Lucky Winner to GROW Volunteer Week in Mexico

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San Diego, CA (December 11, 2013) – Following GROW Month in September, a month-long awareness campaign for their non-profit banana label, Organics Unlimited co-hosted a giveaway with San Diego grocer Jimbo’s…Naturally. Karla “Sam” Gonzalez has been chosen as the giveaway winner and will be taking her brother along on a weeklong, all-expenses paid volunteer experience with GROW to Colima, Mexico in March 2014.

“What interested me in the contest was the opportunity to go learn and see a new place which I otherwise couldn’t have afforded,” states Gonzalez, a San Diego resident, born in Mexicali, Baja California. “I’m most excited to see how my life may have been different had my mom stayed in Mexico. And I’m hoping to learn new things about my culture and help others in any way I can.”

Sam, as she likes to be called, will be partaking in a Literacy and Environment volunteer week which offers visitors a unique and fulfilling combination of service and ecological discovery. Volunteers assist in various regional literacy projects with disadvantaged children and youth, and enjoy a variety of ecological immersions with local experts in birding, botany, agriculture and volcanology, in a variety of settings from the Pacific Coast to the local volcanoes of Colima.

“We’re very excited to share what we do with GROW with someone who supports our efforts in the non-profit community,” says President and Co-Founder of Organics Unlimited, Mayra Velazquez de Leon. “We hope she and her brother are able to takeaway a lifetime experience that they can pass on to their friends and family.”

Currently Sam works as a customer service manager for a health and safety office in San Diego County as well as a CPR, First Aid, BBP, and AED instructor. She is involved with a local volunteer program for her daughter’s sixth grade class called Classroom Parent.

“I’ve shopped at Jimbo’s for about four years. My daughter loves their Mac and Cheese,” exclaims Gonzalez. “I’ve been eating organic bananas from Jimbo’s for about six months, and I buy GROW bananas because they taste good and are reasonably priced.”

Organics Unlimited Kicks Off GROW Month in September

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San Diego (August 20, 2013) – September is GROW Month for Organics Unlimited. Celebrated amongst all retailers carrying GROW label bananas by Organics Unlimited, everyone is encouraged to support the non-profit brand by increasing consumer awareness to the cause: giving resources and opportunities to workers. With a new sampling program ready to launch and new point-of-purchase materials available for free download, Organics Unlimited is excited to begin GROW Month.

“We want to give consumers the message that when they purchase GROW bananas they are contributing to a better life for those whom would have difficulty otherwise,” states Mayra Velazquez de Leon, president of Organics Unlimited. “Every GROW banana customers purchase helps provide scholarships, housing, clothing, and compensation to workers and their families.”

For the first time, Organics Unlimited is making available a sampling program for any retailer in the U.S. who would like to be involved. Demonstrators will be fully immersed in the GROW brand and can answer questions customers may have regarding the non-profit. “GROW Month is a time to let your customers know that they are helping change the world with each purchase of GROW bananas,” continues Velazquez de Leon. “We believe our new sampling program will spark more interest in organic bananas and social responsibility among consumers.”

Included in the new POP materials is an updated poster to inspire consumers to “Buy a banana. Change a life.” Along with the new header card, customers of Organics Unlimited may order banana bags made from recycled paper that feature a recipe. All retailers and merchandisers who support GROW may contact Organics Unlimited for login information to the online POP store for free print downloads.

With full emphasis on raising awareness to the consumer, now is the ideal time for retailers to begin planning for GROW Month. Funds are currently helping fund a clean water project and education programs in Ecuador as well as education and health programs in Mexico.