Turbana, the Miami-based company representing the Colombian co-op of independent banana growers and the fourth largest importer of bananas in the United States, has positioned itself as a socially responsible organization focusing on sustainability and bettering lives in all communities it serves.
Its latest efforts include a partnership with Price Chopper and Produce for Kids; continuing support for the One Laptop per Child initiative; and an upcoming project, again partnering with Price Chopper, to donate salad bars to U.S. schools.
Owned by two parent companies, Fyffes, one of the largest tropical produce importers and distributors in Europe, and Uniban, the co-op of Colombian banana growers, Turbana also sets aside a percentage of every box of fruit sold to support its social foundation, Fundaunibán, which has worked for 25 years to better the lives of people in Columbia’s Urabá and Magdalena regions, where Turbana bananas are sourced.
“We’re trying to not only give back to our own community in Columbia, but partner with our retailers and customers and give back to their communities so they can benefit as well, as long as those are programs that are aligned with our values,” said Turbana Marketing Director Marion Tabard.
“That’s why we’re involved a lot in issues that affect quality of life, good nutrition and active lifestyle,” she continued. “We try to support programs that support values that are important to us, that we believe in.”
The One Laptop per Child organization works to provide children in developing areas with low-cost, low-power, internet-connected laptops. The results can be phenomenal, Tabard said.
“When you see those kids with those laptops and you see the domino effect it has on the community, on the parents and teachers, it’s beautiful,” she said. “It goes way beyond the impact of offering a brighter future to those kids; they teach their own parents, older students teach younger ones, everybody gets involved.”
Starting June 17, Turbana is partnering with Price Chopper and Produce for Kids in the “Get Healthy, Give Hope” campaign that will benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth, both of which are institutions in Price Chopper communities.
“It’s such a pleasure and an inspiration to be teaming up with one of our retailers that gives back to its community,” Tabard said. “At Turbana we are always looking for different ways to support our retail partners. ‘Get Healthy, Give Hope’ is a wonderful way for us to do just that. While we are educating consumers on how to eat well and get their daily fruits and vegetables, we are also helping local children’s hospitals by providing them with funds. It’s a great initiative.”
Soon, Turbana and Price Chopper will announce details of a project that will put salad bars in five schools served in the retailer’s communities as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign.
“You see the kids get very excited about having salad bars,” Tabard said. “It’s playful, they can make up their own salad and mix colors and have access to healthier, fresher food. It’s a way not only to fight childhood obesity but [to provide students with] food that’s more nutritious.”