Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

How Bananas Can Improve Lives



Little did you know that slicing a banana into your morning cereal or smoothie could help make the world a better place. Anytime you see the Whole Trade® Guarantee on an item, it means that the product meets specific key criteria:

1. Meet our strict product Quality Standards
2. Provide more money to producers
3. Ensure better wages and working conditions for workers
4. Care for the environment
5. Donate 1% of sales to Whole Planet Foundation®

In Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica and Colombia, our Whole Trade® Guarantee means a “social premium” is paid when Whole Foods Market® purchases bananas from certified Whole Trade partner farms. This “social premium” supports social-improvement projects in the worker communities including schools and daycare for worker families, bicycles to help kids get to school, water and electricity access and more.

One of these producer projects is EARTH University in Costa Rica, where our Whole Trade Bananas are grown. Located in Guácimo, Limón, Costa Rica, EARTH is a private, international, non-profit university dedicated to education in the field of agricultural sciences and the rational use of natural resources. The University aims to contribute to sustainable development around the world with an emphasis on Latin America and the Caribbean, a region known for its biological and cultural diversity, and also for being threatened by social disparities and inappropriate natural resource management.

The social premium paid on Whole Trade bananas provides scholarships to students earning a degree in agricultural sciences and natural resources management. EARTH cultivates leaders who will contribute to the sustainable development of their home countries and construct a prosperous and just society.

I am applying what I have learned from EARTH to contribute for real change in my country [by] empowering small producers. Haiti doesn’t only need humanitarian help, but also we have to teach people how to make business [and] to create jobs. — Pierre Paul Audate, Haiti, EARTH University graduate

The positive impact of these projects in developing countries is incredible and we are so proud to support the folks at EARTH University in their efforts. If you’d like to stay updated on EARTH University projects and programs, subscribe to EARTH's quarterly newsletter.

Also, from now until the end of October, we’re giving you another way to show your support for this program, for the Whole Trade Guarantee and for the

 farmers and workers who benefit. When you sign up to receive Whole Foods Market’s email newsletters we’ll donate $1 to your choice of three producer projects (one of which is the EARTH University). Our goal is to raise $20K so if you don’t already receive our emails, sign up and tell your friends too.

Do you look for the Whole Trade guarantee when you shop? Let us know why in the comments below.



Leave a reply

To provide feedback or ask a question about our company, a store or a product, please visit our Customer Service page.

For more information about posting comments to our blog, please see our Comment Posting Guidelines.



Chris says …

I would like to know if Im able to buy a case of organic bananas and date

jerri green says …

we are bananas about bananas at my house. so glad we can eat them knowing all the good they are doing! my latest favorite way to snack on them is on this cream cheese and honey toast - http://www.cooking4carnivores.com/2010/09/going-bananas.html

Kim says …

I believe in what your doing and supporting. Except I believe charity starts at home. We can't even feed, cloth house and educate our own people in the u.s. and what about our u.s. troops - charity starts at home!

zoe says …

perfect! that gives me another reason to eat a banana every day. ( i already did it, anyway )

Kenya from Miami says …

Great opportunity being able to help others, just by buying a banana. Your making it easy to do. Supporting more than just myself and family when buying a product is great.

Gladys says …

No, I never do look for signs, however, from now on I will look for the signs, so I can help. I do Love bananas.

Joyce says …

Does EARTH Whole Trade use pesticides when growing their bananas?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JOYCE - EARTH is not certified organic and does use some pesticides. Like many high quality and environmentally conscious growers, EARTH’s farm minimizes pesticide use and uses many organic practices such as manual weed control and application of compost. The farm is also certified by the Rainforest Alliance which has a strict pesticide use policy including a list of prohibited pesticides. Hope this helps!

Karen says …

I think that whole foods is the best company in the world. Not only because it offers the best products,but also because every time I buy a whole trade product I know it is helping someone who needs it and will appreciate it. I think Whole Foods is an example for the world and how companies should run! Is the only store were you can " improve lives with every purchase".

Sandra Alemar says …

Those blue bags means a lot of pesticides in the bananas...sorry...