In the tropical paradise in Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast and at the foot of Colombia's largest mountain Sierra Nevada, you will find our organic banana plantations. The area is spread over our three farms: Josefina, Campo Alegre and Granja. Right here is where we grow - what we personally think are - the world's best bananas.
Our bananas are 100% organic and the result of hard and respectful work with nature's own resources – without the use of any artificial pesticides or fertilisers. With a targeted growth effort of over 3,000 trees which are part of the natural flora, along with several other initiatives, we have achieved Rainforest Alliance’s HIGHEST SCORE IN THE WORLD.
Collectively, we call our farms Dominique Farms, and there two registered brands of bananas: Dominique and Santa Marta Bananas. In collaboration with our skilled and professional staff, we work diligently every day to grow the best bananas in paradise. This is with the aim to always provide our customers with a unique quality product that creates value and satisfaction for our clients and consumers.
Our company highly values our employees and care for them. Through the Fairtrade certification we can offer them additional social and economic benefits and opportunities for better housing, health and education.
In Santa Marta there are over 4 metres of topsoil, which gives the banana plants unique growing conditions. Due to the region's coastal location a special microclimate is created where the combination of hot days and cool nights provides ideal growing conditions and promotes the fructose content in our bananas as well. This makes our bananas grww into a particularly sweet fruit. The combination of the fantastic soil and the special microclimate are the result why our banana plants are particularly resistant to the leaf disease Black Sigatoga.
Unfortunately, excessive winds, destructive storms and hurricanes are well-known problems in many banana-growing areas. But thanks to our unique location at the foot of Sierra Nevada, which is in the shelter of the Andes, we are safely outside the "hurricane belt".
Every Dominique or Santa Marta banana’s tidy yellow package surrounds a veritable powerhouse of energy, vitamins and minerals. A recent study done by Appalachian State University in the US demonstrated that bananas showed an advantage over sports drinks for people who exercised! The test compared test subjects’ blood levels before and after exercise with one group eating bananas during and after their workout and the other drinking popular sports drinks. The studies showed that both groups enjoyed similar affects, but the banana-eating subjects had a greater shift in dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that affects mood and body movement. Low dopamine levels are also linked to issues related to obesity.
Bananas are also high in potassium, which helps our bodies maintain healthy blood pressure levels and maintain our muscles. They are also natural diuretics and help to reduce the effects of bloating. And, bananas are high in Vitamin B6, which helps us maintain healthy blood sugar levels and healthy digestion.
And our organic bananas contains no pesticide residues – of course.
Daughter plant/Sword sucker
The flower of the banana plant is an incredibly beautiful elongated blue-purple flower, often called the bell. As it grows, little bananas appear above it until the entire bunch has emerged. A bunch is made up of a number of tiers of bananas, which are called hands. A hand consists of up to 20 bananas, which are called fingers.
When the bunch of bananas has fully emerged, the bell is removed to direct all the energy to the fruit. This is just a little insight into the banana plants.
The beautiful flower “The Bell”
A bunch emerging
A bunch without the bell, ready for growth
Colour strip indicates harvest date and tracking
Bunches of bananas are carried to the conveyor
Transportation for cleaning and packing
Bunches arrive for cleaning
Banana hands are cut off the stem
The bananas are washed in clean water
Banana hands are packed onto trays
Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and Organic/Bio labels are attached
The crown is treated with organic lemon juice
The bananas are packed into boxes
Fully packed pallet
Truck being loaded
Santa Marta Port
As organic producers, we naturally focus on conservation of natural resources. As Rainforest Alliance-certified farmers, we work diligently to strengthen the natural flora on our land. We have for example planted 3,000 trees from the area's natural vegetation. This is the reason why we now have over 19 different kinds of trees registered on our land.
This effort and the intense focus on biodiversity has significantly increased the wildlife on our farm. We are happy that we now have abundant populations of crocodiles, jaguars, monkeys, marsupials, wolves, dogs, snakes, birds, and a variety of insects and invertebrates (worms, caterpillars, microorganisms etc) around us.
Moreover, in cooperation with the local university, we have been developing our own biodynamic pesticides and fertilisers. All raw materials for these products come from our own organic land, the rainforest in Sierra Nevada, the riverbanks or other natural areas.
The rewards of this effort can be seen in the nature. The fauna and flora are simply becoming healthier and more resilient, and we have witnesses less cases of devastating fungal and insect attacks. Our banana plants are resistant to the fourth generation of Sigatoga as well.
Along with the land, our most important resource is our skilled workforce. Our employees work diligently every day to produce quality products with the greatest possible care for the natural surroundings. We always work actively to improve our employees’ terms and living conditions.
Even before we were Fairtrade-certified, we established the Dominique Foundation with our employees, with the activities still ongoing. It is a great importance to us to connect and provide our employees with a better living standard. All of the fund belongs to the employees and it includes the following activities: