GROW Bananas Come to the East Coast

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SAN DIEGO (Sept. 8, 2014) Organics Unlimited is launching GROW organic bananas on the east coast, it was announced today by company president Mayra Velazquez de Leon. All distribution will be handled by Four Season Produce in Lancaster County, Pa. who receives and ripens the bananas for markets in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern parts of the country.

“We want to be involved in supporting the communities in our banana growing regions,” said Four Seasons General Manager Jason Hollinger. “Our company is a major supporter of Fair Trade, but we realize that there are different ways to support the workers and their families. We’ve added GROW to give our customers another option for buying good, quality organic bananas that also have a way to give back to others.”

Started in 2005, the GROW program has now provided over $1 million of support for programs in Mexico and Ecuador that promote education, dental, vision care and safe water. “We’re excited with the growth we’ve seen in the program and to have the GROW organic bananas available in the east,” said Mayra Velazquez de Leon, president of Organics Unlimited. “In the past few years, we’ve seen a major increase in interest from our customers, which has allowed us to expand funding to additional programs and promising young people.”

From 2012 to 2013, GROW support increased by almost 150 percent. This year, GROW has raised over $200,000 in funds to help continue efforts in social responsibility. All funds come from the purchase of GROW bananas in the US. Each box of fruit has a surcharge of $.60 that goes directly to the fund. Proceeds from the funds go to Children International in Ecuador and Project Amigo in Mexico to help build opportunities for workers, their families and communities.

GROW retailers also benefit from the merchandising support available through the Organics Unlimited website. While materials are available year round, the celebration of GROW Month in September provides a special consumer focus that expands shoppers awareness of the added benefits of buying the GROW label. Of interest to consumers this year will be an increased selection of personalized stories about the impact that GROW has made on their lives.

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