As visiting our growers at home and afar is fundamental for us to maintain strong, and long lasting relationships with our suppliers, this past week Randy and I journeyed down to Northern Peru to visit BOS, the Asociación de Bananeros Orgánicos Solidarios - a cooperative of 600 small scale banana producers that supply us with our Fair Trade organic bananas. We went to reaffirm our relationship with BOS, but little did we know they had a big surprise for us.
We love BOS because of their commitment to Fair Trade and developing their community through social programs. With the social premiums and sales that they have generated from Fair Trade, they have been able to provide numerous programs that fill the gap of social services and programs in the Salitral community. The ongoing list of initiatives that BOS has implemented includes medical insurance, scholarships, microfinance, technical training, adult literacy, English lessons, women empowerment, cultural activities such as traditional costumes and dance, sponsorship of local soccer teams and youth programs including a summer school.