The first five months of the year are usually the most difficult for our small-scale banana farmer partners due to weather difficulties. Problems due to the rainy season are expected. However, what’s happening this year is unusual. The intensity of the rains has put our farmer partners and the Oké USA banana team against new challenges that we were unprepared for. There has been a lot of creative problem solving and last minute decision making in order to fulfill orders on time. In these challenging times, we do everything on our end in order to support our farmer partners by: coordinating with shipping lines, giving credit to buy inputs such as boxes, and supporting staff through logistics and technical assistance, all in order to help them harvest the fruit and fulfill orders on time.
We're proud to offer you a choice when shopping for bananas. Next time you’re browsing the fruit aisle, look for an Equal Exchange sticker on your banana bunch. By doing so, you're choosing to connect yourself to the courageous banana farmers in El Guabo co-op, located in Ecuador, and CEPIBO co-op in Peru.
The story of El Guabo, one of Equal Exchange’s farmer partners, is a success story in grassroots organizing.
CEPIBO was formed by small scale banana farmers located across northern Peru as a non-profit cooperative to provide access to the international market by representing, coordinating and marketing banana exportation for 12 grower associations.
From the Blog
April 3, 2017
Torrential rainfall in Peru has triggered landslides and flooding, causing devastation across large parts of the country, including Lima, Piura, Lambayeque, Tumbes, Cajamarca and Ica. Many communities have been cut off by damaged roads, making access to services very difficult. Equal Exchange has had particularly deep relationships with farmer cooperatives in Piura, dating back 20 years with coffee. Our banana affiliate, Oké USA, also began sourcing bananas from co-ops a decade ago, and more recently we have sourced mangos from the region.Equal Exchange