I recently returned from traveling to Ecuador to visit with our Organic Fair Trade growers throughout the region. During my travels I kept a brief journal and wanted to share with you this amazing trip. My first day was a wild ride (they like to play chicken with other vehicles on the roads down here) to Machala in southern Ecuador. Machala is one of the poorest areas of Ecuador, but also one of the richest in the production of bananas by small producers. I feel honored to be with these small producers who grow organic and Fair Trade certified bananas. Their work is one committed to sustainability of the land, fair labor practices, and of course, prosperity for their families. I do not speak much Spanish, but it is still easy to understand that their heart is very much entwined in their work. We travel through wet hectares of bananeros this morning with a swarm of hungry mosquitoes in pursuit. The workers, the quality control person, Carlos, and the owner of the farm (the finca) Don Ricardo, are all very happy to slow down the process to show us the intricacies of harvesting, washing, packing and transportation. So much goes into one box of bananas – I wish everyone could see this. After seeing the production of bananas, it is doubtful that anyone could possibly complain about the cost of this fruit. Most likely, you would be left feeling as I did, that it’s truly amazing that bananas can cost so little at the retail level.