Name Unión Charchense
GGN 4049929043930
Country Ecuador

Profile

The corporation Unión Charchense is a group of small-scale producers of baby banana. The members' farms range from less than a hectare to 5 hectares. The Unión Charchense is a small area in the "parish" (in Ecuador, similar to municipality or community) Río Verde in the Province of Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas. With a lot of effort, they were the first to obtain GLOBALG.A.P. Certification in Ecuador and are currently the only ones certified under Option 2.  This has allowed them to be active in the international market through the company that sells their fruit, and they have had the opportunity to show their work to various foreign visitors who have left very happy to have known the area and its people.

 

Achievements

Growing baby bananas is not an easy task.  The corporation Unión Charchense farmers put a lot of effort in complying with Good Agricultural Practices, not only to obtain certification or maintain a business that allows them to work, but also because the area is very rich in biodiversity and the rivers that cross the premises are a source of life to the indigenous communities of Tsáchilas. Although they do not use irrigation for their crop, they conserve their water sources through such practices as avoiding felling, or removing the plants that cover the source.

The issue of social responsibility is new to them, but only as a concept, because once they received training regarding this issue, they realized that they had already been working in a socially responsible way in various aspects, for example:

  • By paying just wages to the day workers that some of our members hire.
  • The priority of the members is for their sons and daughters to go to school, but on holidays or free days, they collaborate in the work of the farm in accordance to their age.
  • There is no discrimination within the group among the members: there are mestizos (mixed race) and Tsáchila (indigenous), one member has a hearing disability, and none of these aspects were taken into consideration when accepting members.
  • And finally it should be taken into account that in this certified group, women play an important part of the production process. The work of the women (family members or hired workers) is very valued because of their eye for detail, their swiftness and their meticulousness. They form part of the post-harvest teams because this work is not as heavy as the harvest work.