Turbana is the world’s leading importer of plantains and rapidly rising to the largest banana importer as well. In 1970, Turbana was founded by a larger co-op of banana and plantain grower in Colombia called Uniban. Located in coral Gables, Florida, Turbana became Uniban’s importer and distributor of tropical produce in north America. What does Turban stand for, we asked ourselves? We were lucky enough to be in touch with Marion, Turbana’s Marketing Director, and oh man Turbana isn’t just a company who supplies us with our delicious morning meals, they are rock stars at giving back to not only communities in the North America, but the very communities that grow their delicious produce in Latin America as well.
The term, “Turbana,” derives from mashing (no pun intended) their first port town of Turbo with banana, thus Turbana. Turbana is a social cause in itself. When asked how Turbana’s social causes evolved from Uniban growers creating a co-op for their growers to give back to their communities into what it is today Marion explained, “Turbana strongly believes that by working together—alongside our retail partners, shoppers and communities—we can create opportunities that empower people to transform lives. This is seen in our tagline, “Together, We Grow.”, which embodies how we work together to grow communities and inspire positive change. “
The success they have seen from providing these opportunities is phenomenal. For 45 years Turbana has strived to give back to those who worked day in and day out. In fact, Marion told Edgyplate, “Over the years, we’ve successfully executed social and economic projects, which include investments in education, housing, infrastructure and environmental protection. Through Fundauniban, more than $256 million has gone to improvements in these regions to date. “Every time they ship a box of bananas, a set amount goes back to support these communities and improve the quality of life for all.
Their success doesn’t stop there. Marion outlines their movement in the U.S., “We have extended our efforts into the U.S., where we, together, create initiatives that aim to inspire and empower individuals to be active, healthy and involved in their own communities. In fact, we initiated a movement in North America, “Growing Smiles, Sharing Goodness” (GSSG), which reaches individuals through initiatives across digital, social and grassroots channels.””
GSSG has reached 179 million and encourage being active, eating healthy, and (most importantly) get involved in their communities to spread that message. Marion, also, talked about their largest campaigns to bring this message to the U.S., “One of our largest initiatives was “Win 25K for Your Cause”, a community-focused initiative that asked individuals to nominate a nonprofit organization for a chance to win $25,000. Using the hashtag #win25kforyourcause, over 4.5 million people interacted with the campaign via Facebook and Twitter.
When the votes were tallied, KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) New York was the winner. As a result, “KEEN on Growing” was born. “KEEN on Growing” is now an ongoing urban gardening program that gives KEEN’s special needs athletes the opportunity to work collectively, develop responsibility and gain positive attitudes toward healthy eating. It will continue as an annual summer program to promote gardening as a source of physical activity and teach the importance of nutrition and wellbeing. “
Wowzers, I am so moved by Turbana’s ongoing support of their local communities and ours as well. As millennials, we want to know what we are eating, where it came, from and how it is grown. Turbana is a true believer of our right to know what we are buying. Transparency is key when the market and sell their products. They are the largest producer of Fair Trade bananas, meaning, “Being Fair Trade Certified ensures fair prices to our farmers, protects their rights and contributes to the creation of a sustainable living and working environment for their families and communities. “
So get out there and support Turbana in every way possible, know what you are buying. Get on their website (www.turbana.com), their social media outlets, or check out what promotions they have going on. They have, in past created the World’s Largest pineapple display in Bristol, VA, allowing for selfies and a chance to win pineapples for the rest of the season. How awesome is that. Their QR code will show you where the product you are eating comes from and what it takes to get it to you. Join Edgyplate in saluting such an amazing company and help in their future success.
“Turbana is passionate about growing responsible, healthy food, and if we all work together, we know we can create a better tomorrow.”