Going bananas for Peruvian fair trade products

By Peru Regional Development Executive Paul Sablich in his own words.

Peru is well known for concentrating the highest number of fair trade producers in South America. Most of these producers are focused in coffee production, and secondly in cocoa. Shared Interest has supported coffee co-operatives in the region since some years ago and recently started working with cocoa producers since 2009, with lines of credit that help them expand their production and sales, and consequently promoting social and economic development. However, the more the producers we work, the higher our impact is. In this way, supporting other fair trade value chains is not only a good way to diversify our risk, but also our impact.

Another important fair trade product in Peru, which has rapidly evolved during 2000 decade, is banana. Its local history in the fair trade movement is quite near, I would say they are young adults who have worked effortlessly to consolidate their position and expand their businesses. Those producers are located in Piura region, northern Jungle of Peru. That is why I decided to travel there and visit the farmers in order to explore opportunities for Shared Interest to support their development.

I visited five banana associations and a mango producer group and it was an exciting and very interesting activity. Particularly, the fresh fruit value chain of banana is completely different from other products like coffee or cocoa.

For instance, production occurs during all the year and is managed in a weekly basis.

As you can imagine, because banana is a perishable good, management of the fruit in the production process as well as logistic issues are key elements to guarantee good quality of the product, among other topics.

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Mexican coffee farmer at work in the fields

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