In 2018, the leaders of the CAPPO Banana Cooperative in Peru faced a daunting challenge. Comprising 102 farming families, the co-op had been supplying their bananas to the Dole Company at a fair price. Dole notified them that in response to changing demand, CAPPO would need to begin farming its bananas organically and obtain the necessary organic certification. Without this, the farmers would lose their sole buyer. The co-op quickly implemented the necessary agricultural changes to begin producing bananas organically. However, steep certification fees and their inability to obtain local bank loans prevented them from becoming legally recognized as an organic producer.
CAPPO reached out to CHOICE, who was eager to respond with a loan of $10,000 from CHOICE Ventures -- a social investment fund fully owned by CHOICE Humanitarian and designed to invest in economic development opportunities. Impressively, the co-op paid back their loan one month early! Once certified, the organic bananas sold for double the non-organic price. The co-op now earns an additional $28,000, or $275 per family, each week. With the increased income from organic certification, these families now have the means to obtain clean water, healthcare, and educational opportunities for the first time ever.
See our 2018 Annual Report to learn how CHOICE is eliminating extreme poverty in seven countries!