From seed to plant, we nurture each fruit with love and energy, resulting in an uncompromising commitment to environmental sustainability.
Ever since Edna Vergara founded La Dona in 1977, the land has been at the heart of everything that we do. We hold ourselves to the highest environmental standards, combining agricultural best practices with a policy of minimal intervention. Our mission is to bring our customers the freshest, highest quality tropical fruits, and when it comes to sustainability, our philosophy is to lead by example.
Everything we do begins with the soil, and as long-term growers, we aim to improve the quality of our soil every year. To achieve this, we leave sufficient crop residues on the ground, reduce erosion and irrigation hours, maintain healthy crop rotations, and practice low tillage.
To get the information needed to assess the effects of current farming systems and land use on soil quality, we monitor our farm soil and assess its quality on a regular basis. We view La Dona Fruit’s farming landscape as a living organism that needs the right nutrients, care, and guidance to achieve a healthy balance.
Maintaining the quality of our soil is integral not only to our business, but to the way of life that the Vergara family has practiced for generations. It is a commitment that requires constant effort and vigilance, but in the end, it’s worth it.
Diversifying Crop Rotations
At La Dona Fruit we believe in diversifyingourcroprotation. We do this to improve yield and profitability over time, control weeds, break disease cycles, control pests, reduce soil erosion, improve soil tilth, increase the soil’s organic matter, and reduce runoff of nutrients and chemicals.
As a result, we are able to achieve stable long-term productivity on our farmland. Also, by improving landscape composition and configuration, we enhance habitat quality, support ecosystem functionality, and promote on-farm biodiversity. A win-win for everybody!
Together with local growers, we are able to grow crops in a way that protects biodiversity. This is one of our fundamental principles, and it orients us towards sustainable practices at every level of our operations.
Just a single hectare of land contains tremendous biodiversity in the soil – equivalent to the weight of one cow of bacteria, two sheep of protozoa, and four rabbits of soil animals such as earthworms. Above all, at La Dona Fruit we aim to improve biodiversity and natural capital, while increasing the resource efficiency and competitiveness of our sustainable agricultural practices.
Our mission is to promote a healthy, viable agriculture that protects and restores wild nature. For us, promotingbiodiversity by using sustainable farming methods is a win-win – for us as farmers and for our property’s ecosystem.
Grown by families for families
Thanks to the visionary leadership of our founder, Edna Vergara, La Dona Fruit has grown from a one-acre family farm in the coastal lowlands of Panama to a thriving export business specializing in the highest quality tropical fruits on the market.