The banana growing, shipping and distribution company, One Banana has coordinated actions to get funds for families affected by the volcanic eruption in the south center of Guatemala. “We are deeply saddened by the situation of those affected by the eruption of the volcano and we are fully committed to relief actions,” stated Robert Adams, president of One Banana.
One Banana is a third generation family owned company with deep roots in Guatemala. One Banana’s staff (farms and administrative employees) have so far donated Q120,758 ($16,500) and the company has agreed to double this amount to Q244,000 ($33,500), bringing the total amount raised so far to Q365,000 ($50,000).
One Banana has also arranged for the BAC (Banco de América Central) to match the corporate donation, bringing the total amount to Q730,000 ($100,000). This donation will be used for the relocation of the affected families.
One Banana owns farms on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, but confirms that its workers and farms are not affected as the volcano is roughly 55 kilometers from the closest farms. “Thankfully, all One Banana workers and their families are doing well and are safe at this time. Our fruit and its quality have not been affected. Our product transportation corridors are fine, the airport is now functioning normally, and the ports and our shipping lines are unaffected," added Adams.
Since Guatemala is also an area hard-hit by climate change, ONE Banana has already been working proactively to develop initiatives to address the resulting issues in their area of operations. These efforts include disaster preparedness training for employees as well as local community leaders.
In alliance with the Institute of Climate Change (ICC) and the local NGO Asociación del Trifinio Suroccidente (ASODITSO) One Banana offers a Diploma course called “Community Adaptation to Climate Change.” More than 50 people are participating currently, including One Banana employees, and community leaders of 12 communities.
One Banana has led the creation of local coordinators for disaster reduction in alliance with CONRED and ASODITSO. The aim is to provide communities with the necessary tools and knowledge to respond to emergencies and natural disasters such as this volcanic eruption.
“These courses are part of a comprehensive program of conservation of the environment and adaptation to climate change,” concluded Adams.