Producer Profiles

SAPRIET - Sociedad Agrícola Prieto

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.


Affordable Health Program

SAPRIET improved the living conditions of its workers and their families by implementing a health program in the community of Buenavista at low prices. Workers now have permanent access to a well equipped dispensary, extended operation hours, medical insurance for workers and families, and a dental center.

Worker Bonuses

Portions of the Fair Trade premium are used as a "worker bonus" for permanent employees. In a single year, the worker bonus meant an additional payment of $USD 40 per month over the minimum wage.

"Olympic Games"

The General Assembly organized a day of "Olympic Games" for all farm workers, employees and their relatives. This community event aimed to integrate and create greater social ties between workers, community members and other enterprises.

Investing in Workers' Education

SAPRIET invested Fair Trade premiums in the education of its workers in hopes of offering them new job opportunities. Workers agreed to establish a new computer center, hire computer technical assistants, provide primary and secondary education for workers and their spouses, and hire a new teacher for the "Aurelio Prieto" primary school in Buenavista.