Address: El Oro, Ecuador
About Us / el Guabo (La Asociación de Pequeños Productores Bananeros "El Guabo") History: The story of El Guabo, one of Equal Exchange’sproducer partners, is a success story in grassrootsorganizing. In 1998, 14 small-scale banana farmersin southwest Ecuador decided to take the tremendousrisk of sending one container (about 38,400 lbs) ofbananas to Europe with the hope of selling it directlyto a supermarket. By cutting out the middleman, theytook the power back into their own hands. With thesale of this first container, the El Guabo Association ofSmall Banana Producers was born. The entrepreneurstransformed themselves from individual, marginalizedgrowers into a democratically run organization withaccess to the international market.Today, El Guabo is a farmer-run co-operative with 450small-scale banana farmers. Each farmer is committedto improving quality of life for themselves and theircommunities. In addition to earning a fair price fortheir bananas, the co-op receives an additional $1per case (approx. 40 lbs of bananas) as a Fair Tradesocial premium. El Guabo’s members voted to spendthe premium on education, health care, environmentalprojects and infrastructure improvements. Additionally,El Guabo is giving back to the local and globalcommunity by sharing their highly successful cooperativemodel with other producer groups in Ecuadorand throughout the world.