Mr Tallyman's Sun Dried Bananas

Mr Tallyman's Sun Dried Bananas

Caribbean wide, Trinidad and TobagoSt Joseph, Trinidad and Tobago
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Mr. Tallyman's Sun Dried Bananas proves it's possible to produce delicious, all natural sun dried banana products using only sunlight. Using our innovative non-electric sun dryers we also empower small farmers to add value to the raw material they grow, thus creating entrepreneurs from producers.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In the Caribbean thousands of smallholder banana farmers are abandoning their farms because they're no longer profitable. With the loss of preferential trade agreements & the opening up of the markets, small farmers can no longer compete with mega farms and corporations. Caribbean banana farms are being abandoned, unemployment is rising, island economies are becoming more vulnerable, and farmers are turning to drugs and crime to support families.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

To use our innovative non-electric solar dryers & specially developed drying techniques to teach the farmers to produce a highly profitable, long lasting, eco friendly value added product which can be sold for substantially more than the raw material they produce. Simultaneously we will develop an efficient, profitable business model grounded in the triple bottom line principle that can eventually be used to market other products under the same label. We will change the mindsets from one of producers only, to that of producers, processors and value creators. Instead of facilitating the farmers traditional reliance on subsidies & preferential trade laws we enable them to independently maximise the profitability of their crops.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We are able to take banana produce not suitable for the export market, 2nd & 3rd tier produce that would fetch a low price on the local/regional market and process it in our non-electric dryers and to add value to it, creating a healthy tasty product with a very long shelf life. The quality of its final product is not affected by any of the major defects that reduce the quality of the fresh bananas sold. In Trinidad and Tobago with low agricultural labor availability it is more rational for small farmers to leave bananas to rot on the tree than expend the effort to harvest and find buyers. Having an on-going relationship with a company such as Mr. Tallyman’s has already made it worth the farmers’ while to harvest for definitive sales.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The Fairtrade programme has worked to certify farmers and guarantee them a fair (higher) price for their bananas exported to the EU. This only goes a short way, as it still keeps the farmer in primary agriculture and not in value added agriculture. This is not sustainable. Our approach can actually work together with the farmer's fairtrade certification to use their produce as inputs, creating value added products that are fair trade certified allowing the farmer to capture a larger share of the consumer food dollar that is spent.
About You
Mr. Tallyman's Dried Bananas
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name

Mr. Tallyman's Dried Bananas

Organization Country

, TP, St Joseph

Country where this project is creating social impact

, SL, Caribbean wide

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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Your Solution
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

In the Caribbean bananas are everywhere, but are also very perishable. Also, those 30 to 40 percent of bananas that do not meet aesthetic export standards and are sold for less than they cost to produce or dumped. This is a lot of wastage. Why not preserve them? The first peoples used sundrying as a method to preserve many kinds of foods without chemicals, including bananas. The Caribbean has an abundance of bananas, and an abundance of sunshine. It's so basic, and so elementary, why has it not been done? This is a recreation of that, using technology to standardise the process, improve the efficiency, reduce wastage and increase the shelf life, all done sustainably without fossil fuels.

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Nutrition, Greenhouse Gases, Smallholder Farmers, Supply Chain Micro-entrepreneurs.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

Banana farmers of the Caribbean are the main recipients of this project, they will receive the training and equipment to add value to their raw material produced. This is so because the aim is to change their situations from one of only being a primary agricultural producer to one of being a producer and manufacturer.
The increasing market desire to have products that are all natural, processed without fossil fuels, and healthy makes their end product an easy sell to the final consumer.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?

We have successfully proved that the concept works, and to date have increased the earnings of over 10 banana farmers in Trinidad & Tobago by guaranteeing them a market for all their organic banana crop produced. This is very significant. We aim to increase the purchases of produce to over 50 farmers in the coming year.
With the development of our advanced dryers, which have begun, we aim to double this amount of sun dried banana product produced, and start exporting the product to the United states and Europe. Once the design is approved and operating, we will introduce it to the farmers directly.
Further to this, the cooperative will be established and give support in processing, sustainable farming techniques, financial management and investment.

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

Currently we only operate in Trinidad and Tobago. Since launching the dehydrated banana strips it was clear that this sweet tasting chewy product was unique on the national and regional market. Demand has always outstripped supply. My team and I are currently working to develop a larger more efficient non-electric dryer that reduces wastage, shortens drying time, can dry other foods and complies with international food processing standards. This, along with training in dried food preparation will then be extended to the farmers outside of Trinidad by franchising out the equipment and techniques. A regional farmer-run cooperative will be set up to then collectively purchase and market all the dried banana and dried food products produced.

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

Our plan is to franchise the technique and equipment at cost price to the farmers. The equipment does not require electricity, nor is costly to maintain. The techniques can be learnt very quickly, and the payback period for the investment is short. By drying their bananas, farmers can more than triple their income received from selling their bananas fresh. There is clearly a profit possible that increases monthly as more rawmaterials are processd

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

I have studied Environmental & Natural Resource Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of the West Indies & have been a environmental and sustainable development activist since 2003. I am a small farmer on 2 acres of mixed production -short and medium term crops.
I received the Social Entrepreneur Award- Caribbean Innovation Challenge 2013
and the Caribbean Eco Challenge Award- Talent Innovation Competition of the Americas 2013