Meet Some of Our Producers

All of the products and fresh produce from our Whole Trade® producers meet the four key criteria required by our Whole Trade® Guarantee: quality, premium price to the producer, better wages and working conditions, and the environment. 


Segundo: Whole Trade® Roses
Whole Trade® roses are blooms with benefits that even outlast their vibrant blossoms. Farmers who grow our eco-friendly, Whole Trade® Guaranteed flowers are not only committed to environmental responsibility, they also cultivate better working conditions and equitable wages for farm workers such as Segundo Chancusig.
Segundo: Whole Trade® Roses

“Our greatest desire is to give our little ones an education and see them achieve a professional career.”


Whole Trade® roses are blooms with benefits that even outlast their vibrant blossoms. Farmers who grow our eco-friendly, Whole Trade® Guaranteed flowers are not only committed to environmental responsibility, they also cultivate better working conditions and equitable wages for farm workers such as Segundo Chancusig.


Segundo is working hard to provide his daughters with the education he never had. After elementary school, Segundo was unable to continue his studies and instead he worked as a bricklayer to help his parents put food on the table. Over the years, he has also worked at other rose farms, but none of them offered the benefits and working environment he now enjoys.


Since joining the farm in 2007, his family’s quality of life has improved—they have hot water at home thanks to low interest rate loans and access to wholesale foods—and his 10-year-old daughter, Eslendy, who dreams of becoming a doctor, attends English courses funded by the rose farm. His 3-year-old daughter, Yessenya, attends pre-kindergarten.


“Our greatest desire is to give our little ones an education and see them achieve a professional career,” Segundo says. Your purchase of Whole Trade® roses can brighten a room and go a long way to brighten the future for farm workers living many miles away.


Ana: Whole Trade® Bananas
Whole Trade® Bananas are sourced from growers with a commitment to producing top quality bananas with transparent and responsible environmental and social practices. One of our primary suppliers is EARTH University, a nonprofit university in Costa Rica dedicated to advancing education, entrepreneurship, and sustainable agriculture in the tropics. EARTH University bananas are grown on a Rainforest Alliance certified farm.
Ana: Whole Trade® Bananas

"We have many benefits and advantages for us and for our families, and the treatment we receive as workers is very good. In brief I can say I’m proud to work at EARTH."


Whole Trade® Bananas are sourced from growers with a commitment to producing top quality bananas with transparent and responsible environmental and social practices. One of our primary suppliers is EARTH University, a nonprofit university in Costa Rica dedicated to advancing education, entrepreneurship, and sustainable agriculture in the tropics. EARTH University bananas are grown on a Rainforest Alliance certified farm.


At EARTH, students from around the world study a range of subjects related to sustainable development and environmental preservation. Graduates return to their home countries to share their knowledge of innovative agricultural techniques and ethical business practices.


For more than twenty years, EARTH’s farm managers, faculty, students, and graduates, have been experimenting on the on-campus banana farm. The result is commercial banana production that has a significantly reduced impact on the environment, and which strives to have a positive impact on the lives of its employees and their communities.


Ana Laurent Guzman lives in San Luis de Guácimo, Costa Rica and has worked at EARTH’s banana farm for 6 years. When asked what it means to work at EARTH, Ana answered: “It’s very important because the quality of life that this job gives us is very good. We have many benefits and advantages for us and for our families, and the treatment we receive as workers is very good. In brief I can say I’m proud to work at EARTH."


All of EARTH’s profits from the sale of its bananas support the school and provide much needed student scholarships. For more information please visit www.earth-brand.org.


Maria: Whole Trade® Flowers
Grown on farms in Colombia and Ecuador, Whole Trade® flowers are truly gifts that give back. Meet Maria, who lives in Juan Pablo Sesundo, Colombia and works on one such farm where natural resources are conserved and the rights and welfare of workers and local communities are protected.
Maria: Whole Trade® Flowers

“Our farm is filled with people who love their job and are very devoted to produce the best and most beautiful flowers that we can.”


Grown on farms in Colombia and Ecuador, Whole Trade® flowers are truly gifts that give back. Meet Maria, who lives in Juan Pablo Sesundo, Colombia and works on one such farm where natural resources are conserved and the rights and welfare of workers and local communities are protected. “Every day I come to work with a positive attitude filled with love that makes me want to do my best” says Maria, who works in alstromeria production and has been working on the farm for 11 years. “Our farm is filled with people who love their job and are very devoted to produce the best and most beautiful flowers that we can”.


Maria’s family has benefited from the farm’s foundation, which has provided her children with an education, daily meals and healthcare. “This has been a blessing for me and my family. Thanks to the foundation I was able to give my three children the best possible education. Without the foundation this would not be possible”. Each purchase of Whole Trade guarantee flowers supports the farm’s foundation and families such as Maria’s.


Maria’s two sons currently attend the foundation; while her oldest daughter graduated from the foundation and is now continuing her studies. “Our children are given not only a good education but are provided with daily good balanced meals. This has taught good values and makes us feel part of the farm’s family”.


When asked what she would tell customers buying their flowers in the US, Maria says “by buying flowers from our company, that behind each flower there is a lot of love and dedication, that every flower picked and grown is a sign of love knowing that we care and has helped and benefited us”.


Alfredo, Soraya & Martha: Whole Trade® Roses
Alfredo Monta, Soraya Falcon and Martha Chuquiana work growing roses high in the Andes in Ecuador. Aside from the healthier working conditions required for meeting the standards of the Whole Trade® Guarantee, equitable trade allowed the flower growers to develop a housing fund, computer training courses and a scholarship fund for their children. In addition, the farm offers purchasing assistance for home appliances that improve living conditions for their workers.
Alfredo, Soraya & Martha: Whole Trade® Roses

Alfredo Monta (pictured), Soraya Falcon and Martha Chuquiana work growing roses high in the Andes in Ecuador. Aside from the healthier working conditions required for meeting the standards of the Whole Trade® Guarantee, equitable trade allowed the flower growers to develop a housing fund, computer training courses and a scholarship fund for their children. In addition, the farm offers purchasing assistance for home appliances that improve living conditions for their workers.


Alfredo Monta had been with his current farm for six of the eleven years he worked in the flower industry (as of 2008), including serving on the oversight committee that handles premium payments and as treasurer of the board. Working for this farm permitted him to acquire a hot water heater for his household of nine, where before they had to heat water in a big pot to bathe.


Soraya Falcon began working in the flower industry in 1994. Most recently she has worked on the committee that handles wages and benefits for her farm, as well as coordinating shipments, billing clients and, during harvest, with the roses. Before the premium paid through Whole Trade® and organizations like TransFair, Soraya spent hours after work washing her family’s clothing in a cold-water stream. Her hands were painful and she had little time to help her children with their studies. Thanks to the program, she said, she has been able to acquire a washing machine, which has given her more time to help her children with their studies, and warm, painless hands.


Martha Chuquiana is a field worker and served as secretary of the worker’s committee at her farm in 2006, after five years at the farm. She says the best benefit received from the premium price for the roses is improved reading and English courses for the children, and a community project that donated desks to the school. “Not only the children of the workers have benefited, but all of the families that have a child in that school.”


Codemu Women’s Cooperative: Allegro Coffee
Codemu Cooperative was formed by a group of 73 women. It started in 2007 with the sole purpose to support and help those women who have become widowed or have lost their partners or relatives; all of them own and farm their own land.
Codemu Women’s Cooperative: Allegro Coffee

Codemu Cooperative was formed by a group of 73 women. It started in 2007 with the sole purpose to support and help those women who have become widowed or have lost their partners or relatives; all of them own and farm their own land.


Allegro Coffee has been directly supporting this group in different ways. The women’s organic coffee is separated from the rest of the coops coffee, and an extra premium on top of the regular price is paid to the coop for these special select beans. The price premium goes to the group’s fund to later be reinvested in their other projects; like a coffee shop, where they serve a wide variety of drinks and pastry, and an additional small margin that they save in their bank account.


Also, as a result of the $10k Special Reserve donation from Allegro’s the coop was able to open a market “Comercial Loja”. Owned and run by the women’s group, the market has a direct and immediate impact in the lives of the members and the community by selling all of its 280 products at a slight discount to coop members. It sells to non-members in the community, thus making profits that are also funneled into to coops savings account.


The group has a firm vision of what they’d like to do next; which is to buy a building for their market and café so that they no longer have to pay rent. The new building will house the store, café and a private room for the group to run their meetings.


Groups like Codemu have lots opportunity to grow and prosper whenever there is a long standing business partner committed to bring help and support including roasters, third party certifiers, retailers and customers. Customers can bring change to different part of worlds, by seeing and caring about what’s behind the product.


Coffee from Peru Codemu Women’s Cooperative is used in Allegro’s Espresso Bel Canto making specialy coffee drinks in all Whole Foods Market’s coffee bars Whole Trade Guaranteed.