The Central Piurana de Asociaciones de Pequeños Productores de Banano, CEPIBO, is an organic banana producer association located in the Sullana región of Piura in northern Peru, close to the border with Ecuador where the hot, arid climate is ideal for banana production. The many small farmers of the region formed CEPIBO in 2003 in order to bargain more effectively with large, multinational banana companies. Since forming, CEPIBO has steadily increased exports, increased prices through successful negotiations and, now, has become Fair Trade Certified TM. Workers throughout the region generally face low wages, lack of access to medical care, and limited access to education. CEPIBO chose to become Fair Trade Certified in order to improve workers’ standard of living and give their children the opportunity to continue their education. Since becoming Fair Trade Certified, members have seen significant change in their lives. The majority of members’ children now finish high school, whereas, before, most were illiterate. CEPIBO is now focusing on the business skills of their members in order to continue growth and development. CEPIBO believes investing in its people is key to success in the future, hence why CEPIBO not only funds training programs for workers, but also invests in the education and health for the entire community.
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