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In recognition of the work that GROW has done in the past six years, and anticipating further retailer participation in the program, banana grower Organics Unlimited has designated September GROW Month. With promotions that will boost sales as well as offer an opportunity for retailers and their customers to improving farm laborers’ lives in Mexico, the month-long observance is timed to run in tandem with the back-to-school season for both U.S. and Mexican children.
GROW Month programs for retailers include display materials, publicity support, online and social media support, and the opportunity for demos or participation in market events. Since 2005, the GROW Fund has granted more than $500,000 to support social programs in Mexico and Ecuador, providing assistance to workers and their families in the areas where Organics Unlimited bananas are grown. Stories of individuals whose lives have been changed by GROW can be found at organicsunlimited.com.
For the 2011-12 school year, GROW is funding educational programs, community development, and health services, including scholarships for university, junior high and high school students, in addition to a homework club and lab for the younger students. The program also encompasses a College Endowment Fund, the Casa Amiga university housing program, the GROW Education Center, twice-yearly vision clinics, preventive dental health clinics, and micro-business training and support for young adults.
“By utilizing small growers in Ecuador and Mexico, we are continuing our mission to provide better lives for the workers, their families and future generations,” said Mayra Velazquez de Leon, president of San Diego-based Organics Unlimited. “Every purchase of GROW bananas provides communities with a fund that goes solely toward programs that encourage health, education and well being.”
Organics Unlimited offers USDA certification for the United States and Canada through Organic Certifiers, offering organic bananas through its traditional label as well as the GROW label.