Banana producers own model company

Grupo Hualtaco is more than a processing and export company for organic banana producers. It has a social development programme and provides training in quality, organic production and composting. It encourages participation in the associations and builds awareness of fairtrade and of the potential of the associations to make a positive impact on their communities.

Target

To give smallholder producers access to the market for organic and fairtrade bananas. To build a model company, combining the strong points of the cooperative model and the traditional export business model: an export company for fairtrade and organic bananas co-owned by the producers. And to improve knowledge, efficiency, infrastructure and quality management of Grupo Hualtaco.

Reason

Piura is a poor region where 60% of the population lives below the poverty line. Banana export is a growing source of work and income. Grupo Hualtaco was set up to include the producers as owners in the export company and give them access to the management structure of the export company and to producer support.  

Activities

In 2009:

  • 320 workers and 700 producers have been trained in Management, Quality Control, Fairtrade and Organic Farming.
  • 3 new packing stations and connected infrastructure facilities were built; 4 new trucks and 7 new motorbikes were bought.
  • 279 new producers on a total of 371 new organic hectares were incorporated in the Grupo Hualtaco programme.
  • Further research, tests and pilots on control and prevention of the black rot disease have been carried out.
  • 2 exchange 'farmer to farmer' visits took place for new producer groups that will enter Grupo Hualtaco in 2010.

Results

In the period 2007-2009:

  • Grupo Hualtaco was created and is co-owned by the producers who determine the management structure.
  • The number of producers grew from 447 to 992; workers in the plant and office grew from 257 to 322.
  • Export volume grew from 300.000 to 600.000 boxes.
  • Turnover grew from 3 to 6,7 million US $. 
  • Gross income from producers grew from 1 to 2 million US $.

Facts

Location: Piura is a region in the North East of Peru close to the border with Ecuador.
Target group: banana producers and their corporations in the region.
Duration: 3 years (2007 – 2009)
Budget: 250.000 euro in 2009
Partners: Agrofair is partner and buys bananas from Grupo Hualtaco.