Improving Standards of Living through Fair Trade Bananas
Turbana workers improved their living conditions through Fair Trade
“I feel so proud, so big with my new home. It’s so well located, it’s wonderful!”
(Translated from Spanish)
- Juan Ortega, Farm Worker, Recipient of a Housing Project Loan
The Barrio Obrero in Urabá, Colombia, where Turbana bananas and plantains are grown, is a perfect example of the housing solutions enabled through Fair Trade. The Barrio Obrero is a very poor neighborhood in Urabá where many people go without basic necessities. But thanks to loans provided by Fair Trade premiums, 112+ farm workers and their families are now thankful homeowners of duplexes with utilities. In addition, the project also provided employment opportunities for those involved in the construction of the housing facilities.
Turbana Corporation and its parent company, Uniban, have more Fair Trade Certified banana farms than any other company. Their Fair Trade Certification not only provides a way to improve wages for farmers and workers, but also provides infrastructure and support for self-governed life improvement projects. In addition, they adhere to farming and business practices that ensure environmental sustainability.
Through Fair Trade, farmers receive a minimum set price for their crops, as well as financial and technical support, safe working conditions, economic development, and education. They become stakeholders and reinvest profits to strengthen their business and communities, including health clinics, schools, housing and leadership training. Fair Trade certification also ensures that farmers obey all internationally monitored environmental standards and implement sustainable practices.