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Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo joins forces with Fairtrasa to market Peruvian Fair Trade-certified organic bananas

Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo is collaborating with Fairtrasa, a Latin American company with extensive experience in Fair Trade growing practices.

Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo, headquartered in Pescadero, CA, has practiced innovative organic growing methods, and has been an organic industry leader for over three decades.

Marina Pace, marketing representative, said the success of the company is rooted in a unique vision for social change and a longstanding dedication to growing premium, flavor-focused produce in an environmentally friendly, ethical and sustainable manner.

3Peruvian-banana-workerA worker prepares Del Cabo organic Fair Trade bananas for packing at a Peruvian facility.“Our newest offering, organic and Fair Trade-certified Cavendish bananas from Peru, which are available year round, have their own rich story that will appeal to a growing consumer audience,” said Ms. Pace. “These consumers are hungry to know where their food comes from, whether it is produced in an ethical, just manner and if it is safe to eat. The organic banana growers that we work with, through education, technical expertise, funding and access to markets, are members of small cooperatives and their tremendous success is somewhat unique to the banana industry, where low wages are the norm. A strategic collaboration between Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo and Fairtrasa provides assistance and opportunity, lifting farming families out of poverty to enjoy sustainable prosperity. On average their incomes increase by 500 percent.”

Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo is a leading grower of organic specialty produce and culinary herbs. The Fair Trade-certified bananas and other fresh produce items, such as avocados, mangos and limes, introduced in 2012, are natural additions to the company’s expanding product line, the development of which is guided by a mission of social responsibility and environmental stewardship.

“By offering organic bana-nas with the option of a Fair Trade-certified label, Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo expects to satisfy the growing consumer trend toward ethical purchasing,” said Ms. Pace. “Growers are guaranteed fair market prices as well as an additional social premium earmarked for community development projects. In addition, Fair Trade-certified products provide assurance to consumers that strict standards have been met for better wages and working conditions for laborers, as well as for the care and protection of the environment.

The company’s mission, she added, is to alleviate poverty for marginalized growers, while protecting the environment using organic farming and agroecology practices.

To extend its reach, Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo is collaborating with veteran Fair Trade company Fairtrasa.

“Fairtrasa shares our goals and it works with small growers and grower groups in Latin America,” said Larry Jacobs, cofounder of the company. “Not only are we able to provide greater variety and stronger overall supplies of certified organic products, we are also helping to build a sustainable agricultural economy in Peru, resulting in prosperity for an additional 2,500 farmers.”

One of the world’s top-selling fruits, bananas can have a huge, positive impact on rural farming communities. Typically, low prices and poverty dominate banana-growing regions. Instead, these small independent Peruvian growers and groups are helped to develop to compete in the global market through education, technical expertise, funding and market access. They now produce one of the larger organic banana yields in Peru.

“Del Cabo bananas are currently loading in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and in Los Angeles and San Francisco,” said Ms. Pace. “We plan to introduce Fair Trade-certified specialty tomato varieties from our Baja-based Del Cabo growers in early 2013.”

Mr. Jacobs and Sandra Belin founded Jacobs Farm in 1980. The company has long been recognized for the consistent high quality of its organic culinary herbs, edible flowers and now vegetables, grown on 10 diverse farm sites in Northern California.

In 1985, the partners created the Del Cabo farming cooperative, with the goal to end poverty while protecting the environment and promoting social development.