Asociación de Pequeños Productores Bananeros “El Guabo” (ASOGUABO), Ecuador
In 1998, fourteen intrepid banana farmers in southwestern Ecuador took a leap of faith and shipped a container of bananas across the ocean in search of better markets.
Located in El Guabo, about 3 hours inland from Machala, in the southwestern part of Ecuador.
FLO ID 1538
Number of members 350
The fourteen banana farmers who took that leap of faith in 1998 set their future in motion. They came together as a collective to build a democratically-run organisation with access to the international market. Today, ASOGUABO is a farmer-run co-operative, representing 350 small-scale banana farmers, who are committed to improving the quality of life for themselves and their communities. ASOGUABO farm owners have an average of 6 hectares of land, and their bananas are found in many countries around the world, like in Canada, the US, the UK, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and New Zealand.
The Impact of Fairtrade
The farmers of ASOGUABO decide democratically how to use the additional Fairtrade Premium they receive for each box of bananas. These Premium projects help them invest in their community and business, which have recently included:
- Improvements to their facilities, like the construction of new offices, adding a cable system to bring bananas from the field to the processing plant, and a loading dock to pack containers.
- For workers: School and Christmas bonuses, mortuary funds, private insurance and social security.
- For farmers: Fertilizer and packing house improvements, as well as a workshop to support new innovations in organic production.
- For the community: A medical dispensary, school support (teaching materials, backpacks & school supplies) and physical therapy for people living with a disability.
- The creation of a plantation-style farm on rented local land in order to grow more bananas for export, and hire additional local workers who don’t own their own land, giving them access to more Premium funds.
The faces of ASOGUABO
Wilson Fabian Sánchez Atariguana
Wilson grows Fairtrade and organic bananas as a farm owner with ASOGUABO. He shares that
Fairtrade gives me and my family security and stability for the future.Wilson Fabian Sánchez Atariguana
Víctor Máquez (left) and Edison Márquez (right)
Víctor and Edison share with us their wishes of happiness and tradition.