In Sullana, Northern Peru, we purchase organic bananas from over 1600 very small growers organized in Associations. This unique project was initially set up by the Ministry of Agriculture and was guided by Dole to achieve the first organic banana exports. A Dole subsidiary company called COPDEBAN SAC was established which guarantees that these bananas meet all quality requirements.
The dry climate in northern Peru is perfect for organic banana cultivation. A government operated irrigation system of canals supplies the fields with sufficient water resulting in a true oasis in the middle of the desert. Most traditional banana diseases do not encounter the conditions (hot and humid) to develop. The growing conditions are such that these bananas can compete with the best conventionally grown bananas.
This is an exciting project because the communities in this valley totally depend on small-scale low-input agriculture converted to organic. A good acceptance in the market of these organic bananas has had tremendous positive economic and social effect for the benefit of these small farmers which have received a lot of guidance and support from Dole.