Growing bananas organically leaves a much smaller footprint on our planet than conventional cultivation. The difference is immediately seen on the plantation. For example, in organic cultivation garlic and chili are used as a natural disease fighter, we use durable, partly compostable bags. Conventional cultivation uses synthetic chemicals in plastic bags. Also, in conventional cultivation liquid synthetic fertilizer is used which washes away when it rains, ending up where it shouldn’t be. In organic cultivation we use the fallen banana leaves under the banana trees, along with natural fertilizer (biol) to ensure the soil’s fertility.
The organic plantation sets in motion many ecosystems and is a center of life. How? Through eliminating harmful fungi on the plants using beneficial fungi, grown from natural bacteria and raw materials. By using natural raw materials, less nitrogen is released into the air. That benefits the plant itself, but also the ecosystem and its inhabitants.
We partner with Banamiel, an organization in the Dominican Republic that is 100% locally owned. No crazy antics with large foreign investors taking control from the sidelines, but Banamiel in full control. It is a cooperative, in which the participating plantations collectively manage the day-to-day business of the company. It does not matter how big or how small the plantation is: everyone has their voice. It is the quality that counts.
Social equality and pricing.
Within the organization, diversity and empowerment are also high on the agenda, and successfully achieved. Managerial positions are split 50/50 between men and women and 60% of middle management positions are fulfilled by women – unique to the Dominican Republic. In Bionana’s (BioRey) partnership with Banamiel, the focus is on a fairer price for (small) growers: a continuous process in which far-reaching steps have already been taken.
Bionanas taste the way bananas should – just as mama earth intended! Organic bananas grow entirely on the power of mother earth. This might be seen as a slower process compared to conventional cultivation, but don’t worry. The longer it takes for a banana to be ready, the longer they hang on the tree, and in return, the more delicious they taste.
Smaller with good reason.
We grow bananas year-round in the Dominican Republic. We don’t switch origin during the seasons, which would result in work shortage and product waste on the plantation. Only when circumstances are so extreme, we must switch to a different supplier, but we try our hardest to avoid this. We stick with our colleagues in the Dominican Republic as much as we can. This means that in wintertime our consumer gets a smaller banana than in the summertime. Our bananas are packed full of goodness, year-round, small or large.