The Sociedad Agrícola Prieto (SAPRIET) is a banana plantation located in the Province of El Oro on the Ecuadorian coast. From humble beginnings, SAPRIET now employs an estimated 250 people working on 340 hectares. The association grows Fair Trade and organic certified Cavendish bananas. As production is from January to August, seasonal climactic factors can cause variations in the size of the harvest; however an average 430,000 pounds of bananas per week is collected and packaged for sale in international and domestic markets. A much smaller amount of organic cocoa is also grown and sold. To encourage crop diversification, papaya, plantains, peppers, rice, yucca, corn and a variety of fruit is grown and sold at discounted rates to employees. Although the Prieto Agricultural Group is a family owned company, all employees and workers benefit through a self administered employee and worker association. Collectively, the association decides how to allocate Fair Trade premium funds to continue operating basic aid and development programs – primarily promoting education, health, nutrition, housing, culture, community and sports.
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