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OPN Connect Newsletter 176 · July 23, 2020

Organics Unlimited Rooted in Tradition


Mayra Velazquez de León co-founded Organics Unlimited in 2000 with a mission to provide customers in North America with the best quality organic bananas and tropical fruits. She learned the business from her father who brought the first commercially grown organic bananas to the United States back in 1972 and when her parents retired, she decided to continue their legacy doing what she knew best.

Mayra Velazquez de León, co-founder, Organics Unlimited

Global Organics Aug 2022

“As the world’s leading organic banana grower and wholesaler, Organics Unlimited produces a full line of organic Cavendish bananas along with organic coconuts and organic plantains from our farms and extensive network of growers in Mexico and Ecuador,” said Velazquez de Leon, president of the company. “Our customers rely on us year-round to provide reliable, harvest-to-order and fast delivery of our organic tropical fruits. Demand for bananas remains strong and with bananas being a primary driver of organic produce sales, the number of consumers who purely eat organic bananas continues to grow.”

As a pioneer in the industry, Organics Unlimited has been very proactive in terms of planning ahead for the future by increasing production of its organic bananas.

“This ambitious outlook requires us to forecast industry trends while using our growing and business intuition to remain a global leader,” Velazquez de Leon said. “We are confident about the strong demand for organic produce, especially organic bananas.”

Chelan Aug 2022

Not that there are not challenges. Fair pricing for organic and sustainable produce is an important, recurring theme for the company as there is continual downward pressure on price from the market.

“This needs to be done but without losing sight of the additional costs that go into producing organically,” Velazquez de Leon said. “The crux of the issue is that if produce buyers and consumers want to support a sustainable food chain that relies on small farmers with lower carbon footprints, then we need to be willing to pay a fair price to the farmers and supply chains that are making this happen. And right now, we are going in the opposite direction.”

“This ambitious outlook requires us to forecast industry trends while using our growing and business intuition to remain a global leader." -Mayra Velazquez de León

Still, fresh organic produce remains in high demand as sales numbers prove during the COVID-19 crisis.

Misionero Aug 2022

“With the current pandemic forcing everyone to prioritize a wide range of things, customers are recommitted to supporting brands that give back, especially during times of crisis,” Velazquez de Leon said. “Buyers and consumers are also looking for reliability which is why Organics Unlimited is the answer. We work tirelessly with growers and distributors to maintain an uninterrupted global food supply chain. By sharing the true cost of food and educating consumers about what takes place prior to eating a banana, we feel energized about opportunities that exist in the year ahead.”

In addition, the current pandemic has highlighted interconnectedness and the importance of supporting communities. This is a belief that has guided Organic Unlimited since inception.

“Our GROW program has donated more than $2.7 million to support banana growing communities to provide a better way of life,” Velazquez de Leon said. “This includes valuable community programs such as health clinics, educational scholarships, clean water, dental and vision care, environmental aid and more. During this time, we have also been able to deploy emergency funds to supply necessary personal protective equipment for clinic providers and have supported local efforts which serve people affected by layoffs and reduced working hours.”

Cal-Organic Aug 2022

Mayra Velazquez de León, co-founder, Organics Unlimited

"We work tirelessly with growers and distributors to maintain an uninterrupted global food supply chain. By sharing the true cost of food and educating consumers about what takes place prior to eating a banana, we feel energized about opportunities that exist in the year ahead.” -Mayra Velazquez de León

She added Organics Unlimited will continue to play a role as a leading international produce supplier by growing and distributing organic bananas, plantains and coconuts to the United States, Canada, Japan and elsewhere as needed during this ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.  

Vitalis

“Organics Unlimited is enjoying its 20th anniversary throughout 2020 and the GROW program celebrates 15 years of existence in September, so it is a very busy year in terms of strategy,” Velazquez de Leon said. “We have incorporated a new marketing campaign which highlights our 20 years of operation emphasizing fairly traded, organic bananas and small growers.”

Additionally, the company’s harvest to order production strategy continues to provide its customers with the freshest organic bananas in the marketplace.

“Filling orders for clients such as small retailers to wholesale distributors requires extensive planning and precise execution,” Velazquez de Leon said. “We remain committed to expand our presence in the organic produce industry and improve our internal processes to provide the best, most reliable organic products available.”

Stemilt Aug 2022
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