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Giustozzi S.r.l.

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Where To Buy Chiquita Mini Bananas

bananas are often produced by small family owned farms and medium-scale plantations using more sustainable methods of production than in the large monoculture plantations in Latin America. The largest Caribbean exporting country, the Dominican Republic, has a mix of small farmers, medium-scale and even a handful of large-scale plantations, although around two thirds are produced organically.

where to buy chiquita mini bananas

Sometimes Lady Finger bananas are referred to as baby (Nino) bananas as they are one of the smallest varieties of banana. These miniature bananas may only measure 3 inches (7.5cm) in length. In fact, the tiny bananas are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

Usually, red varieties of bananas are classified by the region where they grow. For example, there are Red Spanish, Red Cuban, or Red Colorado bananas. One thing these red bananas have in common is their deliciously sweet taste. There is also a type of Red Cavendish banana.

If you find where to buy red bananas, make sure and wait until they are ripe before eating them. Unripe red bananas tend to have an unpalatable chalky texture and taste. When they are ripe, their peel turns reddish-purple skin.

With the exception of Peru and the Dominican Republic, whose exporting agencies regularly publish such export data, countries do not make available statistics regarding imports/exports of organic bananas. Quantities of organic bananas imported from Colombia and Ecuador had to be estimated based on literature and industry sources. Based on industry sources, the US market for organic bananas in 2010 was estimated at 123,460 tonnes (6,789,750 boxes), or 3 percent of the total volume of fresh banana imports. With a national average price of $23.79 per box at the wholesale level and a retail price of $1.74 per kilogram in 2010, the organic banana industry was worth about $161.5 million at the wholesale level and $214 million at the retail level.

Even though the Dominican Republic is one of the world's leading exporters of organic bananas, it is not a significant player in the US organic market. Its market share of nearly 7 percent in 2006 dropped to less than 1 percent in 2010.

Using innovative strategies, Dole has become the leading marketer of organic bananas in the United States. The company has launched a website dedicated exclusively to its organic products ( ). Consumers can virtually see where a Dole product originated by visiting the company's website to view photos of the farms that sell to Dole, and by typing in the three-digit farm code listed on the fruit sticker, they can see the particular farm that grew the fruit they bought at the store. In addition, the website provides information for consumers to learn more about how Dole Organic is helping banana workers achieve a higher living standard and a more promising future and to view growers' organic certifications online (Dole Annual Report 2009). According to the company's website, Dole imports organic bananas from Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Peru. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Dole accounts for as much as 60 percent of the US organic market. Chiquita is the second largest organic banana exporter selling to the US market. Chiquita sources bananas from its own plantations and independent growers in Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, and Peru. Other major organic banana exporters are Fresh Del Monte and Daabon Organics USA.

Figure 14 compares the price premiums in the New York City and San Francisco markets over the period of August 2007 to May 2010. Price premiums in the New York City market appear to be more stable than those in the San Francisco market, New York prices ranging from $3 to $8 per box (a difference of $5 per box). Organic bananas in the San Francisco market had a much wider margin, ranging from $1.1 to $9.1 per box (a difference of $8 per box). In percentage terms, price premiums in the New York City market ranged from 13 percent to 51 percent while those in the San Francisco market ranged from 5 percent to 67 percent over the same period. Although the highest premium was obtained in the San Francisco market, note that, on average, the New York City wholesale market paid a higher premium ($6.04 per box) for organic bananas compared to the San Francisco market ($5.35 per box) for the time period reported. Based on the data provided, there is a 65 percent likelihood that the price premium in the New York market would be greater than that in the San Francisco market. Moreover, suppliers from the Dominican Republic would have to factor in higher transportation costs than suppliers from Mexico or South America.

Several studies have focused on consumer perceptions and preferences toward organic foods. Some studies have estimated the willingness to pay for organic products, but these studies used stated preference data rather than market data. Recently, however, Lin et al. (2009) used retail purchase data to investigate the US demand for organic and conventional fresh fruits. The study included five major conventional and five major organic fruit categories (apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, and strawberries) and two catch-all categories for other conventional and other organic fruits, for a total of 12 fruit categories. It was found that the demand for organic fruits is price elastic whereas the demand for conventional fruits is price inelastic.

In March, I traveled with the banana team to learn more about APOQ and CEPIBO, our two newest co-op partners with 1,500 small farmer members between them. We spent a week getting to know their organizations, business and farming practices, and packing techniques. We met with their boards, talked with their members, toured their farms and packing facilities, and visited the port in Paita, where they ship their bananas.

This was quite the contrast to what I experienced in Costa Rica in 1989. Bananas were the principle economic activity in the region, and Dole and Chiquita plantations were everywhere. The plantations were lined with endless rows of banana plants, and off in a corner, matchbox housing for the workers. Monoculture, dirt roads and wooden housing prevailed; trees, gardens, and parks were rare. Some workers brought their families, but mostly, the plantations were filled with single men; workers with nothing else to do. Volumes have been written about the social alienation of banana plantation workers, and the drinking, prostitution, and related violence that fills the void. Between the ever-present smell of pesticides and over-ripe bananas, and the dreary, institutional-like atmosphere, banana plantations were nothing less than depressing. Not a place one would want to spend a lot of time, given the choice.

The banana farmers we met in Piura, Peru, and the reality of their lives and level of investment in their businesses, co-op organizations, and communities, could not have felt any different. Unlike Central America, where Dole and Chiquita have been around for half a century, Dole only entered Chira Valley in 2001. Thanks to a government agrarian reform program tied to the dam project, farmers now owned small parcels of land and were growing bananas and other produce for the local market. With their own land, and fruit to sell, the relationship between Dole and the Peruvian farmers was different from the outset. Dole provided training and technical assistance to the farmers to improve the fruit quality for export. The company installed washing stations and packing facilities. The relationship was straightforward: the farmers produced and Dole took care of the rest.

Now at the table for the first time, small farmer co-ops were forming direct relationships and negotiating prices with their buyers. Certified organic and Fair Trade, the bananas brought in additional premiums which the co-ops invested in social programs and business improvements: they built new washing and packing stations; CEPIBO installed the cable system; APOQ bought its own administration building. Both organizations hired agronomists, accountants and other staff to help run the businesses. They were creating jobs, making business decisions, planning for the future. For small farmers, this opportunity to invest, make profits, and grow their businesses as they see fit, is true economic, social, and political development.

Thanks for your comments Elvira. It is very true that in the conventional system, the majority of profits from banana sales goes into the pockets of stores that sell them and the companies that import the bananas, not the farmers. The fair trade system started years ago by farmers in order to gain access to a global market where their voices were heard. While small farmer fair trade has done well to support that over the years, a recent split is threatening this. Support authentic fair trade and thanks for making your voice heard! Learn more here: -farmer-campaign

Is it Fairtrade? Fairtrade supports small independent producers who are paid a decent price for their bananas. It also certifies some larger plantations where trade unions and collective bargaining rights are encouraged.

Trade unions have pushed for better conditions. In many countries, where they have been successful, a unionised banana worker may earn double the minimum wage and receive other benefits. By comparison, a nonunionised banana worker in Nicaragua or Guatemala may earn as little as five dollars a day and receive no benefits at all.

Generally, I have all these ingredients in my kitchen. When I notice that I have a few bananas that are about to go bad, I make these mini banana muffins. Plus my family still gets to enjoy a delicious breakfast recipe!

This shows us, as active consumers in a capitalist society, that not only does the environmental consciousness of the commodities we buy matter but so does corporate consciousness. The oppressive systems enabled by the UFC in Guatemala and Colombia, as well as the sexist and racist perceptions of Latin American women and Africans promoted by the company, could have been stopped if the U.S. public was made more aware of the discriminatory and criminal actions taken by their favorite brand of bananas. Sustainable consumption should not just pertain to knowing where your food comes from in relation to the environment, it should also refer to knowing who will reap the economic benefits of your purchase and more importantly, who will be or has been at a loss from your purchase. 041b061a72


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