Well-respected for their work in agriculture, Dianne and Frank Sciacca represent a new type of “old” farmer—they farm like their great-grandparents probably did, without the chemicals associated with farming today. Together, they own Pacific Coast Eco Bananas, which specializes in growing a healthy and sustainable banana with none of the chemicals, fertilizers or pesticides found in so many fruits today.
Pacific Coast Eco Bananas came into being when Mr. Sciacca wanted to stop farming with all the typical chemicals, but still wanted to the product to be commercially stable. In 2000, after lots of tinkering and trials, the infamous red wax-tipped banana was the result. Eco Bananas are grown the “ecoganic way,” which means that the natural sugars are higher and the fruit is denser with a creamier flavor because this banana is allowed to mature and grow the way nature originally intended it to.
As the managing director for the company, Ms. Sciacca helps her husband to run the business—with everything from marketing to brand development. While they were developing a system to document what they were doing, she found the environmental management system, ISO 14001. She used this documentation as framework for the organic protocol they were writing, which also allowed them to share their process with other growers and farmers.
Ms. Sciacca is committed to farming in a healthy and sustainable environment, in addition to being dedicated to producing safe and healthy food. She attributes the success of Eco Bananas to her and her husband’s persistence. Aside from the problems that came with starting this business, they also experienced a few cyclones that really set back their company and the banana industry in general—but every time they got knocked down, they just got back up again. Ms. Sciacca believes that her strength and ability to never give in have definitely helped them to succeed. Her commitment to her business and growing healthy and sustainable fruit has not gone unrecognized as she won the “Women in Super” award at the Mother’s Day Classic in both 2013 and 2014, as well as a management and coordination award.
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