This year, Organics Unlimited celebrates its 20th anniversary. “We are excited to reach this wonderful milestone of being in business for two decades,” says Mayra Velazquez de León, President and CEO of the company. “Given how competitive the produce industry is and add to that the ever-changing coronavirus pandemic, it’s a monumental achievement that our entire Organics Unlimited family is happy to celebrate.”
Mayra Velazquez de León and her daughter Daniella who also works with the company.
The roots run very deep for the company. “My family has been growing organic bananas in Mexico for over 40 years. In fact, my father was the first commercial organic banana grower to bring organic bananas to the United States in 1972.” Prior to creating Organics Unlimited in 2000, Velazquez de León worked at her family’s company, Mexican-American Fruit Company (Mex-Am).
“Two decades ago, I co-founded Organics Unlimited because we saw a need to provide sustainable and healthy, great-tasting organic bananas here in the US,” shared Velazquez de León. “My vision and passion for producing the best organic bananas in the world allowed our company to be an early pioneer in the organic food movement and has helped us evolve over the past 20 years to become the top producing organic banana company in the global marketplace,” she added.
Based in San Diego, the company grows, harvests-to-order and distributes organic tropical fruit from Mexico and Ecuador. The fruit, including Cavendish bananas, plantains, and coconuts is distributed within the US, Canada, and Japan. “Our farms and network of small growers are based in the famed Colima, Mexico growing region as well as Ecuador to provide a strong, year-round supply.”
GROW has provided $2.7 million in aid
Back in 2005, the company began its social responsibility program, called GROW. “We are thrilled to not only celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary this year, but also the 15th anniversary of the GROW program. “We are very proud to look back at all the people that we have been able to help over the years as GROW has made a real difference in communities where health care, social services, and environmental education are needed.” GROW label bananas make up about 90 percent of the company’s business and $0.60 of every box of GROW bananas sold goes toward the GROW fund. With retailer and distributor support, $2.7 million in aid has been provided since 2005. The remaining 10 percent of the company’s bananas are sold under the Organics Unlimited label.
Within North America, GROW certified organic bananas are most prevalent in grocery stores and markets along the West Cost with a strong Pacific Northwest presence in Portland, OR, Seattle, around the San Francisco Bay Areas as well as in Southern California, from Los Angeles to San Diego. In addition, they are available in Japan. This month is GROW month, a time for Organics Unlimited to focus on partnering with retailers and media to create consumer awareness of the program’s social responsibility efforts. Consumers can participate by purchasing GROW label organic bananas and sharing the hashtag #VoteGROW2020 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Retailers can still participate on social media and through the in-store display contest that is now underway. Click here for all the GROW month display contest details.