GUATEMALA – ONE Banana, The Better Banana Company, through parent company AgroAmerica, has donated nearly $5 million dollars over the past 3 years to corporate social responsibility programs that benefit their employees, their families, and members of rural communities throughout Guatemala. The contributions are in keeping with ONE’s commitment to meeting the United Nations’ Millennium Goals of Nutrition and Child Mortality. Future planned initiatives include expansion of the Company’s Human Development Center (HDC), increased efforts to offer high quality low-cost medical care to the public, and providing free private education to the children of their workers in Retalhuleu, Guatemala.
The HDC complex currently consists of a state-of-the-art outpatient medical clinic, onsite research department, clinical laboratory, and a private school. The medical facility, which operates in partnership with University of Colorado Medical School, offers substantially affordable medical, dental, pediatric, maternal care, and pharmaceutical care to employees and residents of surrounding areas. The University’s relationship with ONE is groundbreaking as it marks the School’s first permanent medical presence in a developing country.
Clinic staff includes a full-time Medical Director, at least one monthly rotating Colorado Med School Resident, a research physician, a pharmacist, seven full-time community outreach nurses, and 2 onsite nurses, among others. Offsite nurses provide free healthcare treatment to new and expectant mothers, perform free wellness checks on newborns, and offer no-cost childcare education to parents with children under the age of three.
Working towards a greater collective good is at the heart of the ONE Organization. “We are not just a banana company. We feel we are more than that. We are responsible for supplying the market with excellent quality bananas but also believe it is our responsibility to create opportunities for the people who are growing those bananas and their surrounding communities.” Says Fernando Garcia Salas, Vice President of Direct Sales.
Children of ONE Banana employees also have the option of receiving free private primary and secondary education through the HDC’s private school. The ONE-funded school covers all costs of tuition, books, uniforms, and any school supplies the students may need. School attendance is growing rapidly with a current roster of 165 students that are taught core-learning subjects like Math, Language, Science, English, and Citizenship.
Further HDC growth plans include the building of a multi-purpose auditorium and a recreational sports facility. The planned expansion ultimately aims to benefit 18 communities, 6,000 families, and nearly 30,000 people.
Making healthcare and education widely available are crucial initiatives for ONE, but as a banana grower, shipper and distributor, among the Brand’s primary missions is to ensure children have readily available healthy food. As such, they have also implemented the Nutritious School Snack Program, a banana donation initiative in partnership with local public elementary schools throughout Guatemala. Currently, nine participating schools receive one banana per student per day, resulting in over half a million school-donated bananas to date.
For more information about ONE Banana, please visit their website, http://www.onebananas.com.
ABOUT ONE BANANA
ONE BANANA is a family-owned company with operations in the United States, Europe, Guatemala, Peru, and Ecuador. It has emerged as a leader in socially responsible and environmentally sustainable farming. The Company has implemented rigorously developed workplace safety standards, the latest water conservation and rainwater collection technologies and industry-leading worker benefits. Through its parent company, AgroAmerica, ONE Banana’s corporate social responsibility projects include providing access to medical clinics, nutritional programs, and daycare facilities that have benefited more than 19,000 people, across four rural communities in Guatemala.
Source: ONE BANANA