Social Responsibility in Business: GROW’s Impact on South America (2023)

Organics Unlimited

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If you’ve made any of our banana recipes before, you may remember us mentioning something about Organics Unlimited and their GROW campaign. 

Each year, we are excited to recap what GROW has accomplished and bring awareness to the social responsibility that bananas have come to include. 

In this blog, we’ll dive into who Organic’s Unlimited is, what GROW stands for, and the most exciting part — the impact these unique banana farmers have made on their communities.

Let’s get to it!

GROW is sponsored by Organics Unlimited.

Who Is Organics Unlimited?

Mayra Velazquez de Leon founded Organics Unlimited in 2000 with the goal to grow high-quality, sustainable tropical fruits, with a focus on bananas. With a passion for high-quality bananas, they’re committed to their customers and growers. They prove this social responsibility by managing and educating farmers on the best growing techniques so all of their produce meets the high standards of organic-approved produce. 


The technique of growing produce impacts the environment, the growers, and our children for generations to come. Organics Unlimited strives to grow their tropical fruits and bananas as naturally as possible, without any chemicals. This protects the land, the workers, and the produce itself. You don’t want chemicals ending up in your family’s smoothies, right? 

Organics Unlimited has thriving farms in Mexico and Ecuador and ships to the US, Canada, and Asia.

Social Responsibility

In addition to growing high-quality tropical fruits, Organics Unlimited takes social responsibility in business seriously. It’s a core value that has built this banana-growing company into what it is today. They believe in giving back to their customers and community by offering services and opportunities to those most in need. So far, they’ve contributed over two million dollars in assistance!

Related: Podcast Episode 96: Growing Organic Produce for a Greater Purpose

What Is Social Responsibility?

Project Amigo - Mexico

This is when a person or company takes the initiative to do things that benefit society. Socially responsible businesses and people tend to focus on environmental, human rights, economics, and the welfare of others. Basically, when you take on the responsibility to make decisions in your life that positively affect any of those four areas, you’re being socially responsible.

When a company takes social responsibility seriously, it can lead to a higher quality of work, boost morale, and lead to loyal customers. This is pretty much everything Organics Unlimited believes in. And after twenty-three years of growing bananas, they prove that being socially responsible benefits everyone in the community.

What Is GROW?

Giving Resources and Opportunities to Workers that’s what GROW is all about. When Mayra founded GROW in 2005, their mission was to help improve the quality of life for their workers on their farms and for surrounding communities experiencing growth. The GROW program provides funding for a variety of social responsibility programs. These programs have helped many living in poverty get access to higher education, clean drinking water, and healthcare.

GROW from Organics Unlimited logo

Organics Unlimited has partnered with nonprofit organizations like Project Amigo and Children International to provide services in underserved communities. And the best part is that these services are available to the whole community, not just the employees. 

It doesn’t stop there; Organics Unlimited donates funding to socially responsible business organizations and initiatives that share their goal of preserving natural resources for growing produce and keeping our environment healthy.

Related: GROW: Improving Quality of Life for Farmers and Growing Communities

GROW’s Impact in 2023

Now that you know what the GROW program is and what Organic Unlimited’s core belief of social responsibility is all about, let’s get into some of the incredible ways that they’ve impacted their communities this year.

Project Amigo recipients and community leaders

Project Amigo — Mexico 

GROW Mexico helps students get grants for higher education and get access to student housing (complete with study rooms, computers, and internet access). This program also provides fifty percent off of powdered milk through the milk program and access to dental and hygiene care that isn’t provided by the government.

GROW has already seen the positive effects on their community in Colima, Mexico, through the college graduates and community leaders who have received services through the program.

Here are a few achievements from Project Amigo from the last year:

  • GROW Supports 400+ children during the year from elementary to university level education in Colima, Mexico, through Project Amigo.
  • Eight students have graduated from the GROW Educational Program across different educational levels. 
  • Students who graduated from the University of Colima received degrees in architecture, law, economy, and primary education.
  • There were 21 new scholarship recipients in the 2023-2024 school year. 
  • Each new student receives a backpack full of school supplies.
Dental Care

Children’s International — Ecuador

GROW Ecuador helps support the Early Childhood Education Program in impoverished rural areas, provides education on how to make their water safe to drink, and teaches communities how to start a successful small business. 

There’s a saying that says if you teach a man how to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime. GROW Ecuador takes that social responsibility up a notch by teaching communities skills that help them live healthier and happier lives. 

Here’s what Children’s International accomplished this year: 

  • GROW Ecuador supports programs at Children’s International. 
  • 17,842 health service referrals were paid for outside of Children’s International. 
  • 7,014 dental exams were completed. 
  • 15,974 telehealth consultations were held. 
  • 3,587 medical exams were performed. 
  • Provided nutritional support for children aged three to fourteen years old based on malnutrition or obesity and the population’s specific needs to meet the principle of equal health. 
  • The Youth Health Program played a pivotal role in supporting kids (10-18) to promote their socio-emotional development in a safe environment. Through this program, they provided education on reproductive health, created access to services, and effective strategies to reduce alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. 
Medical Exams

How to Support GROW

Get in on the action and help break the cycle of poverty and improve lives. It’s easy. For every box of bananas purchased, sixty cents is donated toward the GROW fund for Ecuador and Mexico. The money is managed independently for trust and transparency. Social responsibility starts with you. 

So when you buy Organics Unlimited bananas from the produce section, you already support the program and don’t even know it. 

See? Supporting GROW is as easy as grocery shopping.

Related: Behind the Bananas: Growing Communities With Organics Unlimited

Deliciously Increase Impact

GROW's 2023 Impact on South America

About Kristin

Kristin Ahaus is the Director of Content and Communications for The Produce Moms. Her focus and passion is helping all of TPM's brand partners share their stories while also helping consumers understand how to select, serve and store fresh produce. Connect with Kristin on LinkedIN.

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