Producer Profiles

ASOPROBAN - Cooperativa de Parceleros y Pequeños Productores

ASOPROBAN, or the Asociación de Parceleros y Pequeños Productores de Banano, is a banana cooperative located along the Caribbean coast in the Magdalena region of northwestern Colombia. This region is highly militarized and characterized by elevated levels of poverty, unemployment and violence. The cooperative was established in 1984 when 28 farmers united to take control of their production and work together to directly enter international markets, avoiding unjust middlemen infamous for not paying a product’s actual worth.

Today, ASOPROBAN has been recognized for its many social programs and environmental protection efforts in the face of conflict and corruption. The cooperative was Fair Trade Certified™ in 1998 and currently exports to the European Fair Trade market.
 

Quotable

With Fair Trade, we have an incentive to invest in social programs that benefit producers and the community, and we receive higher incomes to sustain ourselves. If it were not for Fair Trade, we would not exist as banana producers - with conventional trade, the amount we received for a box of bananas was not enough to cover our expenses.  

Edinson Cabana Zapata, Member

Programs

Technical Assistance Programs

The cooperative provides technical assistance for the cultivation of crops such as cocoa, guava, plantains and coconuts.

Recreational Programs

ASOPROBAN offers recreational programs for cooperative members and their children.

Sustainability Investments

ASOPROBAN has implemented a community garbage collection program that includes plastic recycling. The program is run by women and offers training on environmental protection. The cooperative also sponsors a reforestation project along the banks of the Orihueca River and help farmers convert to organic production.