Over the years BioTropic in the Dominican Republic has invested had a variety of Fair Trade projects including education supplies, disaster relief, medical aid, and worker housing.
Every year, the workers for BioTropic utilize FairTSA’s Community Development program to improve their community’s support and infrastructure. Community members use democratic decision-making to select projects that best serve their immediate and long-term needs. The Dominican Republic is the largest producer of organic bananas in the world. Grown on over 12,000 hectares of land, organic banana exports in 2015 accounted for 55% of the world’s organic banana export. Despite this upward trend, many rural banana producers struggle to access affordable healthcare, quality education, and protection from anti-Haitian racism. Producers also find themselves especially vulnerable to adverse weather conditions such as flooding and winds from tropical storms. In recent years, tropical storms caused severe damage to banana trees, yields, and producer self-sufficiency. Recent FairTSA development projects have focused primarily on mitigating storm damage in the construction of irrigation systems and the development of emergency funds that help producers survive during periods of tree regrowth, while also boosting morale and creating community around holiday celebrations and sports.
Power in Numbers