FRUTERA’s commitment is to achieve the highest industry standards and be responsible with our employees, communities and the environment. That is why we have been entitled to the following global certifications:
In order to ensure the health and welfare of its workers, Frutera held a deworming event day in the workplace, benefiting all men and women who work in the farms.
The event day was held for 975 field workers and packing plants personnel and administrative staff. It was also taken to the schools where the children of Frutera’s employees study; Escuela Las Guacas, Masagua, Escuintla; Escuela Colonia la Libertad, Aldea Magueyes 1 and 2, San José Escuintla, and San Jose Mogollon, Nueva Concepción Escuintla. 2,765 people were benefitted, including Frutera’s workers and school children.
Diseases caused by parasites and other stomach diseases are the most common illnesses in the area, which is why the company accompanies these event days with hygiene campaigns such as the importance of washing hands and drinking safe water.
“The health of our employees is a priority on the company’s agenda, and it is for this reason that we have pledged to contribute to the health of our people and promote initiatives that contribute to improving their life quality,” said Walter Tello, Frutera´s Community Relations Coordinator.
|Frutera, the banana producer, through the Community Development Committee COCODE, managed a meeting with banana, plantain and palm oil companies’ representatives, in order to follow up the maintenance of the road of village Bolivia.
Through the Technical Committee, the dialogue in which the companies agreed to take over the maintenance began. The companies will take turns every month, because it is a project for everyone’s benefit; neighboring communities and the companies that use this road.
The meeting was held on August 9 at the community’s health post, with the participation of the following companies: Frutera, Plantaciones Nahualate, Finca Avicinia, Finca Zanjón Negro, La Cuchilla, Palo Blanco and La Bellota.
These meetings are held regularly to discuss community projects that contribute to the development of the area.
Frutera the banana company, along with other companies, government institutions, NGOs, schools and institutes, marched, in the framework of the international day for mangrove defense, to raise awareness about the importance of mangrove conservation.
This is the second year that this celebration is held in the lower area of Tiquisate. Students carried signs with messages related to Mangrove Day and its importance for communities.
This parade is done in order to raise awareness and the importance of mangroves, the benefits it gives and why they should be taken care of, among people of the lower area of Escuintla. Furthermore, it seeks ownership of the issue by the students so that they can take the message home.
The parade was attended by 400 people including students, teachers, military base personnel, banana farms staff, ICC, INAB, members of the Local Tiquisate Table Committee on Mangrove, accompanied by the school band, walking through the main streets of communities Ticanlú and El Semillero.
With the aim of recognizing the work made by the workers of FRUTERA on the past year, the company held the seventh delivery of the prize to the productivity, which recognizes good performance of employees who reached their goals last year. The award recognized 320 field and packing plants workers, who were creditors of a cash bonus.
The award to the productivity emerged in 2010 in the date of the anniversary of the death of the founder of FRUTERA, Fernando Bolaños, highlighting the values bequeathed by his example of life which have become the Corporation values: perseverance, hard work, teamwork, honesty, responsibility and generosity.
Authorities of the company and representatives of some municipalities and community development councils – COCODES – attended the event. FRUTERA is one of the few companies in Guatemala that has international certifications, “we are a company who projects itself internationally and has certifications in the social, environmental, community, industrial and occupational safety areas,” Roehrs said.
Gustavo Bolaños, President of Agro-plantations, thanked all contributors that with their daily work make of FRUTERA one of the best banana companies of the region: “we are committed to improve the lives of our workers and their families and to provide worthy employment to guatemalans”.
Frutera donated desks to benefit students of the community school of San Francisco Madre Vieja, in Tiquisate, Escuintla. The delivery event of the furniture, organized by the community, was attended by the supervisor of the Ministry of Education and members of the Municipality of Tiquisate, parents, students, members of the Community Development Council, COCODE, and representatives of the banana company, Frutera.
The supervisor of the Ministry of Education in Tiquisate, said: “I am very happy and I thank Frutera for benefiting students and teachers with this cooperation. There are more than 15,000 students in the area of Tiquisate and as a Ministry, we don’t have the resources to help all schools. Thank you, Frutera!”
Walter Tello, Frutera´s Social Responsibility Coordinator, when he gave the desks commented: “This donation is part of the commitment that Frutera has with education and developing neighboring communities.”
Frutera, in partnership with the Health Areas of the municipalities of Masagua and Puerto San Jose, Escuintla, carried out a height and weight event day for 664 students from schools in the area to measure their nutritional status and get a diagnosis in order to implement corrective actions. This is part of the food and nutrition security program “A banana a day, changes your life”
This program gives a banana daily during the school year to students from participating schools, to complement their daily snack. The program has the support of preventive health activities such as trainings and health event days: weight and height, deworming, medical event days, among others. For more information on this program, you can go to the following link and download the program’s manual: “A banana a day, changes your life.”
In partnership with the Independent Banana Producers Association-APIB- and the Ministry of Health in Tiquisate, Escuintla, Frutera carried out several activities for disease prevention in the communities of San Francisco Madre Vieja and Huitzitzil. Among the activities, a spraying event day was carried out in all the households in these communities, benefiting 585 families.
The President of the Community Development Council-COCODE-of the community of Huitzitzil, said: “This kind of event days are of great benefit to our community because they help prevent the spread of Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika. We need health support and without Frutera’s help we would not have been able to have this event day”.
In addition, the first phase of eradication was carried out by removing from home water deposits the larvae of insects that cause Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya. After this eradication phase, the homes were sprayed to remove the adult insects.
Another activity consisted of training families on Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya prevention, conducted by the Health Area of the municipality of Tiquisate.
Frutera has begun the process of implementation of a quality management system in the department of Human Resources that is based on ISO 9001:2008. This standard promotes an approach of constant improvement of all processes and an evaluation of the operative performance through objective measuring tools.
Employees of the Human Resources and Certifications department have already received their first training of the ISO 9001:2008, taught by INTECAP, which consisted in the interpretation of the certification. They were also prepared on how to begin the implementing the quality management system. “This system will help us standardize and improve processes in the Human Resources area of Frutera”, explained the manager of the department.
The banana company, Frutera, trained its management staff , on emotional intelligence applied to work and life and to Frutera’s vision, values and teamwork to achieve goals.
Two hundred workers were trained in order to acquire knowledge in areas of organization and human values to be replicated in their families and the workplace, as well as to grow as individuals.
Single academic preparation and experience is no longer the only important thing. How we handle ourselves and others is just as important. IQ and technical preparation are important but other competencies such as initiative, empathy, adaptability, creativity, honesty, etc. have been added (Emotional Intelligence Premise).
This is the second of a series of trainings for middle level and top managers to be held on a monthly basis in Frutera’s banana plantations.
“It was an excellent training course that encourages us to move forward in our goals and prepare ourselves academically to be competitive. The course also helped us improve our personal skills”, stated Norman Barrios, plantation manager.
Frutera together with SESAN train mothers from village San Jose Mogollon, as part of the Nutritious School Snack Program. This project has been carried out for almost two years ago. The objective is to seek community development, reducing poverty and malnutrition.
About 150 mothers, 125 children and 300 community members from village San José Mogollon have benefited from this project. The project works together with SESAN MIDES, MAGA, COCODES, SOSEP, MOH and mothers from the community.
“The history of the company is framed by an ongoing commitment for creating economic, labor, social development value for employees, their families and the communities in which we operate,” says Walter Tello, Frutera’s CSR Coordinator.
“Thanks to Frutera and other institutions that have believed in us, we have learned many things about health and the development of products such as disinfectants and pastries, which are things we can do not only to use at home but also to sell them and have an additional income ” said mother Andrea Ortega, project participant.
This time training was given every Tuesday since January, in the multiuse community room. Theoretical and practical topics were given to the participating mothers on self-esteem, health, hygiene, nutrition, environmental protection, production and marketing. Frutera’s investment in this project was approximately Q 25, 000.
Frutera, in partnership with the health posts in the villages San Francisco Madre Vieja and Las Trozas, conducted rubbish removal event days in order to prevent dengue and chikungunya.
The program was meant to raise awareness about keeping containers at home that serve as mosquito breeding places and take all the ones that can hold dirty water out to the streets to be collected. These activities are carried out with the intention of preventing diseases such as dengue, malaria and chikungunya, diseases that may eventually cause death.
In the prevention activities Frutera, school teachers, nurses from the health post, a health vector, COCODE members and mothers from the Happy Families program participated. Their assistance helped summon community members to participate in the event day. The tour was conducted through the main streets of the village, having the school as a starting point.
“The purpose of this meeting is to prevent diseases such as dengue, malaria and chikungunya, and mainly involve the community and prevent disease, through the practice of the skills learned in the program,” said Walter Tello, Frutera’s CSR Coordinator. “In addition to letting people know that you can’t leave containers lying around because that’s where mosquitoes breed, you have to teach the people in the community to keep their environment pleasant and healthy,” says Telma Velasquez, Nurse Health Post.
Velasquez also said, “I want to thank God because this important community activity was carried out through a partnership, mothers alone can’t do it, they need someone to support them, thank you Frutera for taking the initiative to prevent diseases, I think we all feel your support.”
Guatemala, December 2013. “To continue with the legacy left by the founder of the company that of bringing happiness to children from nearby communities, the company carried on the tradition of distributing toys to boys and girls of communities in Escuintla”, stated Bernardo Roehrs, Corporate Director.
Employees’ children from Frutera and children from nearby communities received presents once again. Through the year these communities are supported by the company’s Social Responsibility Program contributing towards their development.
The Social Responsibility Coordinator addressed some words to mothers that came to pick up the gifts: “As in previous years, Frutera, worries that employees? children receive a gift on behalf of the Company and today we deliver these presents, wishing all a Merry Christmas and many blessings for 2014”.
A Frutera’s employee remembers that one time, when the company was going through difficult times, the founder did not give presents to his children instead he gave presents to his employees’ children.
Mothers expressed their thanks and happiness to Frutera for the gifts received and also for the care of the communities.
Guatemala, October 2013. Frutera, as part of their Food Security Program, “Healthy Food Snacks”, carries out weekly trainings for parents of the village of San Jose Mogollon, Escuintla in alliance with The Secretariat for Foods Security and Nutrition -SESAN-, The Municipal Office for Children and Youth -OMPNA-, the Municipality of Nueva Concepcion and The Community Council for Development -COCODE-.
The topics addressed on October were: responsible parenthood and rights and duties of boys and girls. Due to this month’s subjects, besides parents, sixth grade students from the “Escuela Rural Mixta Aldea San Jose Mogollon” were also invited to participate in the conferences.
In addition to provide knowledge and skills to the participants, this training seeks to create opportunities for reflection in which parents can have an objective view of the rights and duties of children and the importance of an effective communication between parents and children for an optimum development of the latter.
The training emphasized that boys and girls will count with a special protection by law and other institutions to allow them to develop physically, mentally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal way, in conditions of freedom and dignity.
Juan Francisco Arita, SESAN’s delegate pointed out: “The child should have the benefits of social security, has the right to grow and develop in good health, to adequate food, housing, recreation and medical services.” He added: “For the full and harmonious development of the child’s personality, it is needed to have love and comprehension, when possible grow in an environment of care, under parental responsibility and in any event in an affective and secure moral and physical environment and except in exceptional circumstances children should not be separated for their mother at a young age.”
Arita added: “Frutera is doing an outstanding social effort with the community, it is an exemplary company because contributes with a great deal of knowledge, training and information that benefits not only the family but the whole community. Today we can see a great example of an alliance of those who work in favor of children rights and responsible parenthood which is of vital importance for parents. Thank you because this group has now acquired this knowledge, and above all because this program is part of the Zero Hunger Pact, which is being worked together with the government.”
The Municipal Office for Childhood and Youth of Nueva Concepcion -OMPNA- presented a special recognition to Frutera. Gloria America, representative of the Municipality stated: “For us is a privilege to hand you this recognition to express our thanks for the humanistic approach towards the communities. As a government institution we could not have carried out this project alone. You, as Private Sector are of great support for the development of these communities, now we are part of a great family social responsible conscientious, from the owners to all the employees. We?ve seen it all, that the company not only generates employment in the area but worries about the wellbeing of many people.”
We are one of the first companies in the region to invest in the latest technology for precision agriculture for over 11,000 hectares of our plantations, thus reducing water usage by 30% while maintaining yields, by implementing the Time Domain Reflectometry System–TDR-
In partnership with the Ministry of Development -Mides, FRUTERA carried out a reforestation project with more than 1,200 children from rural schools in San Marcos and Retalhuleu.
We teach the younger generations about the importance of protecting the environment. Our private school for our worker’s children has a plastic recycling project that will generate a positive change in the communities. The central office has a paper recycling project.
We have implemented the use of environmentally friendly materials for the protection of the fruit. Agribon bags can be re-used up to 3 times vrs plastic bags that can be used once and harm the environment. With this save we save 66% of the bags used in a year.
FRUTERA dona bananos a escuelas públicas durante el ciclo escolar, y en alianza con instituciones de gobierno y sociedad civil, coordina capacitaciones a madres y maestros sobre salud y nutrición con el objetivo de contribuir a bajar las tasas de desnutrición y mejorar la seguridad alimentaria en el área.
FRUTERA dona bananos a escuelas públicas durante el ciclo escolar, y en alianza con instituciones de gobierno y sociedad civil, coordina capacitaciones a madres y maestros sobre salud y nutrición con el objetivo de contribuir a bajar las tasas de desnutrición y mejorar la seguridad alimentaria en el área.
FRUTERA dona bananos a escuelas públicas durante el ciclo escolar, y en alianza con instituciones de gobierno y sociedad civil, coordina capacitaciones a madres y maestros sobre salud y nutrición con el objetivo de contribuir a bajar las tasas de desnutrición y mejorar la seguridad alimentaria en el área.
In order to help reduce malnutrition in the area and improve food security, FRUTERA donates bananas to public schools during the school year. It also creates partnerships with government institutions and civil society to train and empower mothers and teachers on preventive health and nutrition.
This project was awarded by Unilever International Awards with a Big Tick.
Banasa delivered 690 filters to prevent diarrheal diseases to nearby communities, and Trained families on the filters’ maintenance and use.
This project was carried out in alliance with USAID | Alianzas
A second program in alliance with Water and Sanitation Health (WASH) consists on the delivery of useful, long-term filters in a sustainable way, so that communities will always have access to safe and suitable drinking water.
Frutera helps maintain community roads and main routes as well as repair schools and bridges.
Along with the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction CONRED and Community Development Committees COCODES, FRUTERA created a network with local stakeholders the Local Coordinator for Disaster Reduction -COLRED- to support communities for natural disasters and organize them to learn how to react
We carry out medical and deworming days in coordination with:
• Public Health Authorities and schools
• Private institutions and NGOs
Frutera conducts fumigation on the farms and in the communities to prevent diseases such as dengue and others caused by mosquitoes and insects.
FRUTERA brings annual economic support to the Endowment Fund for the Agricultural Development in Guatemala -FDDAG- giving scholarships to rural area students who wish to study at El Zamorano.
FRUTERA contributes to the development of rural education by donating computers, desks and school supplies, paying and training teachers, painting schools, and participating in various activities.
FRUTERA provides training to community leaders, teachers, students and women, health and hygiene, nutrition, HIV / AIDS, environmental care, alcohol and drug abuse, citizenship, human values, productive projects, etc.
We carry out medical and deworming days in coordination with:
FRUTERA conducts fumigation on the farms and in the communities to prevent diseases such as dengue and others caused by mosquitoes and insects.
FRUTERA has the private school Fernando Bolaños, for children of its workers, with an innovative methodology and higher level education.
75% of employees are members of the Cooperative “Mi Gente”
Members of the cooperative are benefited and eligible to:
Each year FRUTERA gives out an award to workers who reach productivity goals, evaluating aspects such as discipline, collaboration, exemplary conduct, values of the business and productivity. MORE THAN 1,400 EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN AWARDED
All Frutera’s farms are certified RFA.
RFA certifies goods and services produced in compliance with strict guidelines protecting the environment, wildlife, workers, and local communities.This certification verifies that products have been grown using environmentally responsible practices such as soil and water conservation, fair labor practices, and good community relations.
All Frutera’s farms are certified Global Gap.
This certification is awarded to companies that demonstrate standards of good agricultural practices which contribute to product quality, minimize negative environmental impacts of farming operations, and ensure a responsible approach to worker health and safety.
FRUTERA is the first company in Guatemala to perform studies of “living wage”. FRUTERA believes in paying fair living wages and promoting the welfare and development of their employees and families.
Guatemala, September 2013. As part of the certification process of Rainforest Alliance and Global Gap a training was carried out on “Food handling, hand washing techniques and the usage of protective equipment” to prevent the spreading of contagious diseases caused by poor hygiene. The training was given to employee dining room and food kiosks personnel as well as for employees that work at the company’s cafeteria and to those who prepare and serve food at the School “Aldea Madre Vieja.”
The objectives of the workshop were to help employees to identify basic hygiene and sanitations norms to handle food safely and to prevent diseases caused by contaminated food. They were taught on how to recognize the elements that contributes to food to be spoiled and how to store it safely. Another item discussed was the importance of the usage of protective equipment for personnel that handles food.
Bernardo Roehrs, Frutera’s Corporate Director commented: “We seek with this course to train our personnel that services our farm employees, on how to prevent and stop spreading diseases that are caused by inappropriate handling of food. We are worried for the wellbeing and health of our employees.”
The training was coordinated in conjunction with the Health Center of Tiquisate, the Environmental Sanitation Inspector and the principal of San Francisco Madre Vieja School.
Maria Paz, a cook from Las Vegas farm expressed: “it was an enjoyable activity and I hope that this is not the last time that we receive this type of training. I want to thank Frutera and its organizers for inviting us to participate. It is very important to be trained on these subjects.”
Guatemala, September 2013. Frutera inaugurated last month, as part of their Social Responsibility program, at Tasmania Farm, the offices of the Credit Union -for loans and savings- “My People”. The objective of this Cooperative is to contribute towards improving life quality of coworkers, their families and communities by benefiting its members.
Among the benefits offered by Cooperative “My People”, are:
Earnings of the Cooperative are given to its members and can be withdrawn when needed.
No minimum requirement for savings.
Savings are tax exempt.
Interests are monthly paid on minimum balance.
Access to low rate loans.
Amount of loans are taken from savings and up to 50% of severance pay.
A grocery store that will supply basic commodities and electrical appliances at reduced prices.
Opportunities are given to cooperative members to participate in the board of directors.
The cooperative is legally registered.
The cooperative has its own sets of values that motivate its members to follow them, such as: self-reliance, responsibility, democracy, equality, honesty, solidarity, fairness, and help each other.
Frutera acknowledges that if the company grows, its fellow employees must also grow. For that reason the company constantly makes efforts to improve life quality of its workers and families.
During the opening ceremony, Bernardo Roehrs, Frutera’s Corportate Director, commented: “We all need a helping hand. For instance: Who has not had a sick child and doesn’t know how to cure him? For all emergencies, we offer now this project that will benefit everyone. Sometimes, we must fend for ourselves, for this reason the cooperative has been established with affordable prices and with the purpose to teach its members the culture of savings.”
Testimonies of employees benefited:
Evelyn Lemus, Quality Control: “It is a great Project that benefits all the farm employees because it provides an opportunity for all to participate with small contributions and become members of the cooperative, and receive benefits such as loans, grocery shopping and opportunities to bring economic profit from the earnings of the cooperative. May God bless our employers for incentivating this kind of projects”.
Eliú Barrera, Inventory Control: “The Project ‘My People’ brings us great benefits as employees. Through the cooperative we can receive emergency loans and also have the opportunity to save a percentage of our salary. In the long run it will benefit the household economy.”
Guatemala, May 2013. For the fourth year, Frutera recognizes its employees outstanding work with the “Productivity Award 2013.” 311 employees of Frutera farms were recognized for contributing towards the growth of the company and for having improved the economical, personal and professional situation of its employees and were given a cash award. This is a yearly event in memory of the founder of the company.
The purpose of this award is to thank employees for their dedication, job excellence and to encourage them to continue doing a good job as well as reminding them to always apply in their daily life the values and teachings established by Fruteras’ Founder.
The criteria to select the winners are: job excellence, no disciplinary actions, zero work place absenteeism, outstanding performance and at least one year of seniority.
Danix Garcia, banana picker, who was honored this year, stated: “We are motivated to receive the award. The dedication and effort is recognized. We are thankful to God and the Company for acknowledging our work and I would like to encourage my coworkers to continue working as a team in order to meet goals thus next year we can win again.”
In addition, an award is given to the packing plant with the highest production in a year and keeping the standards of quality and Social Responsibility. As production increases employees earn more.
Escuintla’s Human Resource Manager added: “The productivity award is an incentive for all workers; the company recognizes efficiency, productivity, quality, performance and team work of its employees.”
Guatemala, April 2013. Frutera along with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Independent Association of Banana Producers -APIB- (for its initials in Spanish) is implementing a recycling project to maintain “Clean Beaches” in six communities in Tiquisate, Escuintla.
The project began with Frutera’s donation of 115 trash cans and the coordination of the six communities Municipal Sustainable Rural Development Councils (COCODES) and community leaders to participate and to give follow up in the project.
Upon completion of this project is expected to revive the economy of the communities involved, to teach and promote good hygiene practices as well as to learn how to protect the environment, eager to achieve a healthy living style and to serve as an example to be followed by other communities.
Communities benefited by this project are: San Francisco Madre Vieja, Huitzitzil, Las Troza, Playa el Semillero, Barra Nahualate and Ticanlú.
Ernesto Telon, president of the Municipal Sustainable Rural Development Council (COCODE) of San Francisco Madre Vieja in Tiquisate, Escuintla stated: “This project, will be in benefit of my community, now that the rainy season is approaching it will help to reduce environmental pollution and to prevent diseases in children and adults.”
Guatemala, April 2013. Frutera concerned with the wellbeing of their employees recently opened a new and easy accessible medical clinic for its employees, offering a wide range of services.
“We expect to serve 900 employees by taking care of their medical needs and to look after their wellbeing. The company is taking actions to offer the best and most efficient health care for our employees”, stated the Human Resources Manager of Frutera.
The clinic opens daily from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, operated by a full time registered nurse; covering primary and preventive health care services such as food poisoning, injuries and on the job accident as well as providing the medicines needed.
In addition the clinic offers education programs on: accident prevention, proper use of tools and adequate handling of pesticides, HIV prevention and pre natal care. The clinic sees 15 to 20 employees daily.
Campaigns and free medical days care are organized periodically for early diagnosis and prevention of HIV, infectious diseases and related programs. Levels of cholinesterase are also measured to minimize the exposure of employees to pesticides.
“The new clinic will benefit all employees of Frutera. It has a well-stocked pharmacy. Employees are very happy and satisfied to see the changes that are taking place”, said Marilu Recinos, the clinic?s nurse.
Guatemala, March 2013. Construction of the offices and store of “Mi Gente” Cooperative at Frutera farm started this month and is expected to be completed by May, benefiting 400 members.
Employees affiliated to the Cooperative will receive many benefits such as: a credit union that will offer access to low rate loans, savings and credits, a grocery store that will supply basic commodities, motorcycles and electrical appliances at reduced prices, and participation in medical, ophthalmological, dental and deworming campaigns to improve the health of its members and its communities.
At Frutera we care on our employees’ wellbeing!
Guatemala, February 2013. Frutera donated seven thousand bananas for schools refreshments snacks, for the rural communities of San Jose Mogollon and El Jabali in Nueva Concepcion, Escuintla. Over one thousand students were benefited from this donation.
This donation was made possible through the food security program -Happy Families- (Familas Felices); the objective of this program is to strengthen nutrition in children. Bananas contain high nutritional value, helping children to enhance school performance. Teachers serve bananas to children with honey, milk or prepare banana pancakes. The bananas were delivered with the support of the local Community Council for Development (Comite Comunitario de Desarrollo -COCODE.)
The president of the Community Council of Mogollon, Jesus Lopez, stated: “This donation brings not only happiness, but health to children because of the vitamins that Bananas contain and helps to prevent diseases. The community Council and its neighbors are very thankful with Frutera.”
Blanca Merida, principal of one of the schools stated: “In our school we have many children with severe malnutrition and these bananas received will help them to eat healthier and improve their learning skills.”
Jackeline Mechua, 5th grade teacher added: “This is of great help because many children come to school on an empty stomach. They are dreaming of tortillas and are unable to concentrate in class. Having a full stomach makes a difference!”
Guatemala, January, 2013. The Frutera Savings and Credit Union “Mi Gente”, promotes the welfare and improvement of living conditions of the associated workers and their families. Among the benefits it gives, is the ease of acquiring very low cost financing for housing, land, cars, appliances and others. It also has a savings program and posthumous assistance.
In order to improve services, union practices, and exchange Corporate Social Responsibility-CSR- experiences, the representatives of the Savings and Integral Credit Union San Jose Obrero-COOSAJO- experts in innovative financial solutions, through a professional and personalized service, were invited.
The group made a tour through the banana packing plant to see the banana process and visited the community of San José Mogollon, to be acquainted with Frutera’s CSR programs and dialogue with community leaders.
Antonio Aldana, General Manager of COOSAJO thanked Bernardo Roehrs, Corporate Director of Frutera, for the opportunity of this mutually beneficial exchange: “Thank you for sharing with us these good CSR practices, you are an exemplary company and we know that we will learn a lot with this activity”, commented Aldana.
Guatemala, November 2012. Together, 35 employees of the Frutera farms and more than one hundred leaders of the neighboring communities received training for “response and evacuation in case of natural disasters”, a course given by the National Coordinator for the Reduction of Disasters-CONRED-.
Following up on the Local Coordinators-COLRED-formed two years ago in the farms and communities to respond and prepare in case of natural disasters, this training was coordinated and information on the new structure of COLRED was given, for a smooth operation at action time.
The group of 35 trained employees formed a new COLRED in Frutera’s farms, which means that they are accredited to lead actions in cases of emergency and prevention.
Lucia Carrillo, community leader from El Jabalí, stated, “I learned several things that I didn’t know and now feel more able to help and organize my people in the community”.
Rudy Hernández, in charge of the storeroom, added, “This training will help us know what our role will be when we have to guide people during emergencies. We learned we have to help everyone no matter who they are”.
Guatemala, November 2012. Forty two leaders of seven Frutera neighboring communities and company representatives, met last week with the Vice-minister of Communications, Infrastructure and Housing, Guillermo Estuardo Sosa, the General Roads Director, Jorge Rogelio Galvez and Congressman for Escuintla, Hernan Morán who represents more than 15 thousand people in the villages of San Francisco Madre Vieja, Huitzitzil, Las Trozas, Playa El Semillero, El Caspirol and Ticanlú.
The aim of the meeting was to ask the Ministry for support to carry out several projects, which include the: asphalt commissioning of 12.5 km of asphalt road, building the bridge of Las Trozas that connects seven communities, the construction of a wall along the Rio Nahualate and repairing the street from the beach to San Francisco Madre Vieja.
The meeting was very fruitful, next week the Road Director will visit the zone with a technical team to evaluate the projects and respond and monitor the group.
Ernesto Telón, President of the Community Development Council-COCODE (for its initials in Spanish), thanked Frutera for the support and stated that the dialog with authorities, communities and company had been achieved to work for the development of the community.
Guatemala, October 2012. Last Sunday, Frutera supported the Sugar Race in their “Silver Anniversary”, organized by the Association of Sugar Technicians of Guatemala, donating bananas for all runners who participated in the event.
Frutera, as part of its social responsibility, supports national sports and especially those that take place near its operations, like this one. The route of 10.5 km were the main streets of Nueva Concepción, Escuintla, where most of Frutera employees and their families live.
Over three thousand people attended the race and all runners were happy with the fruit. The Board and the Organizing Committee of the Sugar Race expressed appreciation for the support provided by Frutera.
Carlos Hurtarte, President of the Association, said it was touching to see the massive participation of runners nationwide and workers of the different nearby farms.
Guatemala, September 2012. For the second consecutive year, the XNOX/BAM art auction to benefit the Endowment Fund for Agricultural Development in Guatemala of the school El Zamorano, which grants scholarships for young people from the rural areas, will take place. Currently there are four Guatemalan scholarship holders: Yuri Tecún, José Buezo, Pedro Carrillo and Manuel de Jesús García Chaclán.
Frutera provides $25,000 to the Fund to support students with limited resources, for five years. Among the scholarships holders financed by the company, is Yuri Tecún, a student from San Marcos who shares how she has excelled herself.
“My name is Yuri Tecún, I currently live in the municipality of Mixco, Guatemala, but my family comes from El Tumbador, San Marcos. I come from a low income family; my mother is a fighter who has raised my brothers and me. She does odd jobs in order to give us everything necessary and has always given us support to study. Ever since I was a child, I dreamt I had a university career so that I could help my family. Thank God, I had the opportunity to study in institutions of academic excellence. I studied at the National Central School of Agriculture (public) thanks to a full scholarship, that?s where I got interested in agriculture and enrolled in El Zamorano in 2008, the first year was funded by USAID and the last three years by the Endowment Fund for Agricultural Development in Guatemala.”
For more stories, visit: http://www.bamxnox.com/zamorano/testimonios-becarios-universidad-zamorano
The auction, sponsored by Frutera, will have 7 works by Antonia Matos. Besides, 80 lots of internationally and nationally recognized artists will be auctioned. The auction will take place at Torres Pradera, Guatemala on September 20, at 7 p.m.
Frutera’s Happy Families program trains 390 women on “how to create a productive business”.
This program conducted training sessions for rural women from four coastal communities in Guatemala on setting up and managing a small business. During the workshop “A Business, An Opportunity” women were taught how to conduct a feasibility study and produce a business plan, and were trained on the different steps needed to establish a small business.
Several of the participants commented that the sessions made them “open their eyes” to understand different ways to getting ahead by being enterprising and establish their own business.
Walter Tello, Community Relations Manager at Frutera and Happy Families program coordinator said that one of the objectives of the program is to empower women and their families so they can be independent. These workshops aim at promoting entrepreneurship among rural women by helping them to set up productive project.
As part of the program, follow up home visits to participating women to provide support and supervision have showed that the majority of women are putting into practice what they have learned in the sessions.
Guatemala, June 2012. 135 Frutera workers were awarded the Fernando Bolaños Productivity Prize. Winners met certain criteria which contributed to their personal, economic and professional growth, as well as the company’s performance. The prize included a cash award, a certificate, a T-shirt and a cap. This yearly event was named after Frutera’s founder, Fernando Bolaños.
Upon receiving the prize, Amparo Cifuentes, who weighs fruit, said: “I have never before been rewarded for anything. I am touched and very proud because we are now champions. Now with this money I can pay some debts.”
The objective of the award is to recognize good performance among workers and to motivate them to continue to strive for excellence. It rewards the best employees of each of the packing plants according to the following criteria: no sanctions, minimal absence from work, exemplary performance and more than six months of employment at Frutera. Prize winners received a T-shirt, a cap and a framed certificate signed by the company’s top officials.
Additionally, the prize recognizes the collective effort of the packing plant with the largest increase in production during the year. Frutera rewards its workers with a cash bonus. The more they produce, the more they earn throughout the year.
Ernesto Telón, president of San Francisco Madre Vieja?s Community Development Council, said: “With this activity the company expresses its gratitude to its workers, and they feel motivated and work better. They are all winners, the employer, the worker and the community.”
Guatemala, May 2012. Frutera collaborated with community leaders and rural villages to repair the riverbanks and dredge the Mico River in the town of Huitzitzil, Tiquisate, Escuintla. The company invested last year $6,000.00 U.S. dollars to help dredging the river and building up the riverbanks.
This riverbank reinforcement will benefit five communities that are isolated by the flooding of the Mico River. With the arrival of the rainy season, the inhabitants of these communities live in fear of having their homes and possessions carried away by flood waters in this disaster prone area.
The villages benefitted from this project are Huitzitzil, San Francisco Madre Vieja, Las Trozas, El Semillero and Ticanlú in the Municipality of Tiquisate, Escuintla.
The inhabitants of these towns and the Mayor of Tiquisate expressed their appreciation for Frutera’s help and support.
Guatemala, April 2012. The Kroger supermarket chain, one of the largest chains in the United States, has recognized Frutera with the award, “Corporate Brand Supplier of the Year 2012” for their exceptional contribution to the company’s corporate brand program.
Frutera was chosen from among thousands of vendors worldwide to receive this award. According to the criteria set forth by Kroger, Frutera is a business that has upheld the highest standards of customer service by providing Kroger with a wide variety of high quality products at competitive prices.
During the awards ceremony, the Kroger’s team, showed their appreciation to the winning enterprises for embracing the company’s spirit and supporting them in their efforts to help steer it in a direction of innovation and excellence. “Frutera is a key supplier for us. Not only are they the leading supplier of our own brand of bananas under the brand name, Fresh Selections, but they have also collaborated with our team to become pioneers in the direct importation of bananas to developed countries”, said Lorena Rull, Kroger’s corporate brands manager. She added that Frutera is a very valuable partner that shares Kroger’s fundamental value of Customer First.
Fernando Bolaños, CEO of Frutera, said that it was a great honor to have received this award, “This is a stimulus to our company to continue striving to do better every day.” Bolaños congratulated its entire team, especially the field staff, for their efforts and dedication which led to this award.
Guatemala, April 2012. As a part of Frutera’s social programs, they held medical clinics in various schools to treat intestinal parasites which plague the members of the communities in San José Mogollón and El Jabalí. These clinics were co-sponsored by the local health clinic and the municipality of Nueva Concepción, Escuintla.
More than 1,500 students from first to sixth grades and more than 40 teachers, directors, and mothers took part in the clinics.
The objective of this activity was to put into practice the theme of self-management which Frutera teaches the participating mothers in their “Safe Food” program. The mothers learn how to form alliances and manage projects with the local medical clinic, teachers, and COCODES to benefit the children in their communities.
Olga Lorena Sirin, the director of the El Jabalí School, demonstrated her appreciation to Frutera and commented, “We met our goal of reducing the illnesses associated with intestinal parasites, such as diarrhea, that so adversely affect our students. Congratulations to Frutera for their concern with the health of the local communities.”
Guatemala, April 2012. Frutera, together with the Independent Anti-AIDS Committee, delivered 13 AIDS prevention workshops with a focus on family values.1,100 employees from the banana farms in the department of Escuintla, benefitted from this training.
Over the course of one week, two doctors from the Anti-AIDS Committee conducted the workshops at the plantations and packing plants. The doctors emphasized that the best ways to prevent the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus are abstinence and/or marital fidelity. Using a condom is a method of last resort because it is not 100% reliable and does not prevent other diseases.
“The purpose of these workshops is to create a change in the behavior, attitudes and beliefs of our employees by instilling them with the positive values which this company embraces—the final result being an improvement in their quality of life”, said Bernardo Roehrs, corporate director of the company. “As well, we want to help Guatemala meet the Millenium Development Goals; one of them is to combat HIV/AIDS”, stressed the director.
The vast majority of the company’s employees had never before heard of the AIDS virus. Wilson Ajtún, a banana packing plant worker said, “This workshop was excellent; I never knew that AIDS existed. I want to thank Frutera for providing us with these educational lectures and, above all, for teaching us how to protect ourselves from this disease. Now, I know how to avoid catching AIDS.”
Guatemala, February 2012. As part of the project “Water is life” Frutera, together with UNICEF, the COCODE (local community development council), the Tiquisate Health Center and concerned mothers, helped clean 180 water wells in the San Francisco Madre Vieja community and 80 in Huitzitzil village, in Escuintla province. With this work inhabitants of the mentioned communities now have clean and safe water.
Madre Vieja COCODE President Ernesto Telón thanked the assistance provided by the different organizations. “When we approached Frutera we did not doubt they would help us. We are very happy to have done this work which will help us prevent many diseases”, he commented.
The goal of this project was to reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases from drinking contaminated water in the communities around Frutera.Training on preventive health targeting families and community leaders were also part of the project, along with teaching people how to improve water quality.
“With the help of Frutera we have been able to train more people in the area of preventive health. Working as a team we have reached more people. This alliance will help us transform people to give them a better quality of life”, said environmental sanitation inspector Eddy Tábora.
Dr. Edwin Hernández, Director of the Tiquisate Health Center added that thanks to the association with Frutera, the “Water is Life” project has advanced. “I congratulate the company owners for doing this for the communities, who need a lot of assistance, especially in the area of health”, he said.
Guatemala, February, 2012. Thanks to Frutera’s “Better Families” Food Security and Nutrition Program, a day of deworming was held in the San Francisco Madre Vieja School in the Municipality of Tiquisate, Escuintla.
The treatment for parasites took place in conjunction with COCODES, the Health Center, the community’s Health Post, The Environmental Health Inspector, and the school’s teachers .
School Principal María Esperanza Rodríguez noted that all the children and teachers were rid of parasites from Kindergarten to sixth grade.
Walter Tello, Coordinator of the “Better Families” program said: “We are certain that this activity will let us reduce the level of disease. Part of the program is focussed on education in preventive health. This activity shows that we are putting what we teach into practice.”
Guatemala, January 2012. Throughout 2011 Frutera collected used ink cartridges from all its farms and administrative offices, and donated them to the “Hasta el último cartucho” (Until the last cartridge) project of the Sergio Paiz Andrade Foundation (FUNSEPA), to be recycled and sold to raise funds to buy equipment for public schools.
With this initiative Frutera is contributing to the conservation of the environment -by recycling the cartridges- and supporting the country’s education at the same time.
Nancy Beza, FUNSEPA’s Marketing and Fund Raising Coordinator said that with the money raised from selling the cartridges several public elementary schools were fitted with computers. “We have helped more than 300,000 children in 769 schools in several regions of Guatemala. We know that technology is the bridge to progress, and thanks to companies such as Frutera, which donated these cartridges, we are reaching more kids”, commented Beza.
Conscious of the importance of recycling and helping education as well, all Frutera employees contributed to this initiative by donating their used ink cartridges. With this assistance Frutera demonstrates it is a socially responsible company which contributes to Guatemala’s social and economic development, using technology as a tool to further education.
Through its Corporate Social Responsibility Program, Frutera contributes to improving the food and nutritional security of the population in southwestern Guatemala, and the achievement of the country’s Millennium Development Goals.
Guatemala, November 2011. For the past two years Frutera has been implementing the Better Families program in 4 rural communities in the south coast of the country. A self-help program, Better Families focuses on improving the health conditions, nutrition and social behavior among beneficiary families. Among its goals are to reduce malnutrition and infant mortality rates, improve school performance among boys and girls, as well as to improve productivity and community development. To date 3,000 people have benefited from this program, including 360 mothers and 350 children under five years old.
Better Families targets women directly, who after training become relays of important information within their families and their communities. They learn about self esteem, health, hygiene, nutrition, care for the environment and child growth, among other topics. To verify knowledge competence program technical staff make periodic home visits, where they also conduct weight and height measurements of children under five years of age, and learned practices are reinforced with activities such as medical and gynecological fairs involving the whole community.
Walter Tello, program coordinator, noted that he has observed significant changes in the communities where Better Families is implemented. Beneficiary families have shown to have improved health habits, including the increased use of safe water for consumption. Also, the program has improved the capacity of participating mothers to make better decisions regarding their family’s health, which has resulted in fewer cases of diarrheal diseases and lower maternal and infant mortality rates. With improved self-esteem, women are better able to identify early the symptoms of breast and cervical cancer, as well as to improve the nutritional intake of their children’s diet.
Frutera also provides assistance to special cases of child malnutrition, offering medical help, food and care during their convalescence.
Guatemala, December 2011. The Canadian Ambassador, Hugues Rousseau, along with Principal Commercial Aggregate Natalie Samson and Charge d’Affairs Christine Luttmann, visited one of Frutera´s farms in Escuintla, to know more about the banana growing and production process.
During the farm tour diplomats went to the banana plantations and a packing plant. They also visited the community of San Jose Mogollon in the municipality of Nueva Concepcion, where they met with members of the COCODE (Local Community Development Council) as well as staff from the health center, together with Frutera´s workers. In the community hall COCODE members explained the work they do with in conjunction with Frutera, community leaders and women, on health and education topics.
To end the program, Walter Tello, Community Relations Officer for the department of Escuintla, explained the different corporate social responsibility programs of Frutera.
Natalie Samson, Principal Commercial Aggregate, said: “The visit to the farm was a unique experience. We are very impressed by the comprehensive range of CSR programs, Frutera´s good environmental practices and the efforts made to improve the living standards of their workers.”
Guatemala, November 2011. Frutera’s Corporate Social Responsibility Department donated plastic containers to the school and health center of San Jose Mogollon, in Escuintla. The plastic containers will be used to recycle garbage, which will help keep the town clean and build a culture of care for the environment among its inhabitants.
Frutera also obtained a permit from nearby Nueva Concepcion Municipality to allow the use of its garbage dump, and twice a month Frutera trucks will transport it there from San Jose Mogollon.
As part of this effort, on-going street cleaning drives are also organized in San Jose Mogollon, with the participation of members of the COCODE (the local Community Development Council), teachers, health workers, mothers and the community in general. This promotes team spirit and builds a sense of community identity, while ensuring that children can live and study in a safe and healthy environment.
“We are very happy with Frutera for the assistance they have provided, and for promoting a culture of cleanliness in the communities. We thank the owners for being interested in our development”, said Jesus Hernandez, President of the COCODE of San Jose Mogollon.
Guatemala, October 2011. Contributing to education, especially of nearby communities, Frutera helped build ten classrooms in the Juan Pablo Hernández School in the community of Ticanlú.
This project, which will benefit more than 550 students and some 300 families, was made possible by the joint effort of the private sector, the Municipality of Tiquisate and community leaders, among them teachers, parents and members of the local COCODE (Community Development Council).
During the inauguration ceremony school director Milvia Emperatriz Pappa thanked Frutera and all those who contributed in the project. “Thank you in particular to Mr. Gustavo Bolaños and to Engineer García Salas because they have given the example to other companies to help the community.” Former provincial head of education Rony Peláez added: “It is good to hear that the private sector is interested in improving everyone?s lives, not only of its employees, but also their families and their communities.”
As a token of their appreciation, school teachers named two of the classrooms after Gustavo Bolaños and Fernando Bolaños.
Guatemala, October 2011. After torrential rains affected communities neighboring its farms, Frutera secured food items to assist its workers and their families, as well as community leaders, in the village of San Francisco Madre Vieja.
With the help of the local community development council (COCODE), beneficiary mothers of the Better Families program, the Ministry of Agriculture, Cattle and Food (MAGA), and the UN World Food Program (WFP), Frutera managed to obtain about six metric tons of food supplies which benefited 216 families. Along with Mayor Isaias Ortiz and representatives of the collaborating agencies, Frutera distributed corn, beans and oil.
“I am very happy to have received this assistance, and very grateful with Frutera for the help they are providing to communities affected by the storm”, said community leader Mrs. Rubilia Gonzalez Flores.
Guatemala, September 2011. In order to foster a positive attitude and encourage a sense of civic duty in its employees to vote responsibly and conscientiously, Frutera together with the civic association, GuateÁmala, conducted a workshop whose theme was “Building a Culture of Citizenship”.
More than 1,300 employees from the farms and administrative offices participated in the workshop which initially trained the first group of participants who were then responsible for passing on their training to the next group and so on. The methodology utilized in the workshop included a series of reflections and dialogues about citizenship and community development designed to awaken the desire to become a part of the change needed in Guatemala.
The first part of the workshop focused on describing to the participants the Guatemala that we want to build. The second part was to teach them that, together, we form a part of the democratic government and are stewards of it. In the third part, the participants were encouraged to learn the responsibilities of each public office represented in the general elections and evaluate each candidate’s political platform in order to be able to vote intelligently. At the end of the workshop, the participants made a promise to pass this important knowledge on to the people within their spheres of influence.
Several of the participants of this workshop expressed that they now feel better informed and motivated to go and vote:
“The dynamics of the workshop changed our understanding of how to vote in the upcoming elections.”
“We women now feel very enthusiastic about voting; for some of us, it will be our first time. This workshop has motivated us to vote more conscientiously.”
“Many of us were not aware that during the voting process we would be given five different colored ballots. Now we clearly understand how to vote.”
Guatemala, September 2011. As part of their social responsibility program, Frutera collaborated with local communities to help build up the riverbanks and dredge the Mico River in the town of Huitzitzil in Tiquisate, Escuintla. This river was negatively affected by hurricane Agatha last year. The company invested $6,000.00 U.S. dollars in the project in the form of machinery, materials, fuel, and labor. The project was undertaken in conjunction with the municipality of Tiquisate.
This riverbank reinforcement benefitted a number of communities that are isolated by the flooding of the Mico River. With the arrival of the rainy season, the inhabitants of these communities live in fear of having their homes and possessions carried away by flood waters in this disaster prone area. Another problem caused by the flooding of the Mico River is the destruction of the main highway, which also cuts off their ability to communicate with the rest of the country.
The towns that benefitted from this project were Huitzitzil, San Francisco Madre Vieja, Las Trozas, El Semillero and Ticanlú in the Municipality of Tiquisate, Escuintla. The inhabitants of these towns and the Mayor of Tiquisate expressed their appreciation for Frutera’s help and support.
Guatemala, August 2011. A group of community leaders from Escuintla were invited by Frutera to participate in the workshop: “Introducing CSR in Communities.” This workshop was part of the annual Responsible Businesses in Guatemala conference organized by the Centrarse Association.
The participating community leaders came from four rural areas in the Department of Escuintla: San Francisco Madre Vieja, Huitzizil, El Jabalí and San José Mogollón. During the training sessions, the attendees were introduced to the work done by the CSR arm of Frutera in addition to learning about the banana production process. They learned about corporate social responsibility programs in general, and above all, their communities’ concerns and needs were communicated to the representatives from Frutera. The participants also took advantage of this opportunity to make contacts with people involved in other development projects during the conference.
Nelson Recinos, COCODE Secretary and Director of the Huitzitzil school said, “Frutera has always supported us with infrastructure projects and training that aids in the development of the entire community. Working together with Frutera and the community, we can make real progress.” Maria Teresa Orellana, member of COCODE and a community nurse expressed her appreciation to Frutera for the invitation to the workshop that included very relevant information for her community. She added that thanks to Frutera, which employs her husband and her son, her family was “able to eat.”
Guatemala, July 2011. Frutera trained forty women from the community of San Francisco Madre Vieja, Escuintla, in the skills of pastry production in order to teach them a new skill that could be used to start their own home-based businesses.
The group met for five consecutive days in the local public school to receive classes in pastry-making techniques using basic recipes provided by Frutera. They were also taught how to construct their own artisanal ovens. These classes were also aimed at raising the women?s self-esteem and to empower them to recognize the economic benefits of using these newly acquired skills to augment their families? incomes through a home-based business.
This program was undertaken in partnership with the Medfly program and the support of community leaders, mothers from the Best Families Program, and the director of the local public school. During the closing ceremony, the participants received diplomas and shared their ?creations? with those in attendance.
The president of the committee of ?monitor mothers? of the San Francisco Madre Vieja chapter of the Best Families Program, Sandra Herrera, thanked Frutera for the training course. She also said that she and her classmates were extremely motivated to continue their training and become businesswomen in the community.
Frutera organized and contributed to the funding of this training program in the pastry arts as part of its corporate responsibilty program and Better Families Program.
Guatemala, July 2011. As part of their Social Responsibility Program, Frutera organized a day of fumigation in the communities of Madre Vieja, San Jose Mogollón, and Huitzizil all located in the department of Escuintla, in addition to Frutera farms to prevent diseases caused by insects, mainly mosquitoes, that cause dengue and malaria.
The fumigation was carried out in a way as to reduce any negative impact on the environment. Neighborhood health clinics, community centers, and schools were all treated in coordination with the personnel from the Health Center of Tiquisate.
This activity benefited all the employees of Frutera farms and residents of the neighboring communities, including students, families, staff, and patients of health centers who all expressed their appreciation to the company for this help.
Frutera is concerned with the health and welfare of its employees and communities surrounding its operations; that is why it organizes activities of this kind to prevent diseases that are common to these areas.
Guatemala, June 2011. Each year, Frutera awards farms and workers that achieve higher productivity yields. To do that, it evaluates the fulfillment of production targets, technical and environmental standards, disciplinary rules and adherence to the values of the company, among others. This year, on farm and 30 workers were creditors of the prize which is named by the founder of the corporation, consisting of cash and prizes in kind.
With this recognition, the company encourages employees to constantly seek excellence and meet the company’s values which are: perseverance, hard work, team work, responsibility, honesty and generosity. For Frutera it is a commitment providing quality products with social responsibility.
At the award ceremony, the Manager of Human Resources, said: “The Fernando Bolaños Productivity Award has been a great motivational complement to our staff because it shows that the company recognizes the efficiency, performance, quality and team work”.
Alejandro Cal, Fruit Receiver and award-winning employee said: “I am happy to have won the award for productivity. We thank God and the company because they value our work and effort. I am grateful to colleagues because we all worked our hardest to win. This motivates me to keep doing things better”.
Guatemala, June, 2011. As part of Frutera’s corporate responsibility program and Better Families program, a clean-up day was organized in San Jose Mogollon. Many people from the community participated including the director, teachers and students from the local school and mothers, leaders, and members of COCODE.
The activity began with an instructional workshop which taught the importance of sanitation to the participants. The cleaning crews then took the streets of town carrying signs and banners to raise awareness of the importance of a clean community. The village leaders and mothers carried brooms, dustpans, and other paraphernalia needed to “get the job done.” Frutera donated bags and transportation to remove all of the garbage collected.
The garbage that included tires, plastic, and organic waste was transported to the municipal garbage dump in Nueva Concepción, Escuintla. This clean-up will prevent the spread of intestinal diseases by flying insects and other vermin. An additional positive outcome of this activity was the education of the community to take care of the environment and to work together for their mutual benefit.
This activity fulfilled two thematic objectives of the Better Families program for women from the local farm communities: “With better families, comes better health” and “Working for everyone’s good health.”
Guatemala, May, 2011. Frutera together with the Ministry of Education, Microsoft and FUNSEPA, has created the first computer lab for a school located in rural Guatemala. This lab will benefit the 221 children who attend the San Francisco Madre Vieja School located in Tiquisate, Escuintla. This community has a total population of 654 people, half of which are under the age of 15.
With this computer lab, Frutera opened up a new world of communication to students and the entire community because the laboratory will also be available in the evenings as an Internet cafe. The Internet café concept will generate an income that can be used to make the lab self-sustaining and pay for the maintenance of the equipment. The community will be able to use the Internet to communicate with relatives living outside of Guatemala.
The computers are installed with programs that address the content of Guatemala’s Basic National Curriculum, and is working with FUNSEPA to provide technical training for the school teachers and the community leaders.
Frutera was awarded the “Contribution to the Rural Community” presented annually by the Guatemalan American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in the Education category.
Gustavo Bolaños, president of the plantation division of Frutera, stated: Through our CSR programs, we support several schools. This current project will be especially successful because the children have not yet had the opportunity to operate a computer, and technology plays an important role in the world today.
Frutera is a company that cares for its employees and the communities that surround its operations. We are especially dedicated to the children of our employees and believe it is essential to provide them with a solid education.
Guatemala, April, 2011. Frutera, together with the local health care center in the town of San José Mogollón, offered a free medical clinic day to benefit the residents of the community.
The medical staff offered a variety of services: exams for the early detection of uterine cancer, tuberculosis vaccines and hepatitis B vaccines for both women and children.
Participants included the medical director and nurse from the local health care center, Dr. Violeta Hernández and Melvin González respectively, in addition to personnel from Frutera’s outreach program, Best Families of Escuintla.
The residents from San José Mogollón who received the free medical services from this program expressed their delight and appreciation for the opportunity afforded them by the local clinic and Frutera.
Doctor Violeta Hernández expressed her appreciation to Frutera for showing its concern for the health of the communities that surround the company’s plantations. She commented that Frutera not only offers employment opportunities to the residents of the local communities, but also concerns itself with their health and well-being.
Guatemala, February, 2011. Frutera Internacional was the winner of an award given annually by the Guatemalan American Chamber of Commerce, AmCham, on February 10th at the Hotel Princess Reforma. The corporation?s work and dedication was recognized in the educational category with the award, “Contribution to the Community.”
Frutera participated with their project, “Learning with the Computer.” The goal of this project was to create a functioning computer lab for students in a public school in San Francisco Madre Vieja, a village located in Tiquisate, Escuintla. The school already had sixteen computers which had been previously donated, but the computers were in need of repair and the school lacked a room to adequately house the computer lab. The company, in partnership with the Sergio Paiz Foundation -FUNSEPA- repaired the existing computers, outfitted a new computer lab with educational DVDs and educational software programs, repaired and upgraded the lab?s electrical wiring, painted the facilities, and installed air conditioning to keep the machines at the appropriate temperature and extend their functional life. Now, the school has an appropriate setting in which the children may learn using computers.
Gustavo Bolaños, President of Agroplantations, thanked the representatives from AmCham when he received the award on behalf of Frutera. “Thank you for this recognition. Through our corporate responsibility programs, we support a variety of schools. “Learning with the Computer” was one of our pilot programs in San Francisco Madre Vieja village, a village with few resources. It was very successful because the children had never had the opportunity to work and study with computers before.
Carolina Castellanos, Executive Director of AmCham Guatemala, believes that these awards help to encourage businesses to participate in community development projects. “Because the awards are given in a variety of different categories, the participating companies can plan and develop projects which will benefit the communities where they do business and where their employees live and work.
These awards recognize AmCham member companies who participate in social programs that support community development in environmental, educational, and social fields. This is the eighth year AmCham has given out these awards.
AmCham is the largest business and trade organization in the world. It has many international branches that promote free and unfettered global commerce.
Frutera cares about its employees and the communities where they live. Above all, we care about children and the quality of the education they receive. That is the reason why we develop projects whose goals are to improve the quality of life for both children and the communities in which they live. With our award-winning project, “Learning with the Computer”, we helped students and teachers learn to use the latest technology with the hopes that they, in turn, would pass on that knowledge to their community.
Guatemala, December 2009. The week of 9 to November 13, the last class of the Diploma in Family Guidance given by the ENLACE Partnership (The Encounter Community), teachers, principals, community leaders and staff were given farms of the communities of San Jose Mogollon, the Boar, the Seed, Old Mother, and Ticanlú Huitzizil in Frutera area.
In these final issues of the last training module is taught: Character, Personality, Educational Authority, Parents and their children’s education, television and its effects, Leisure time, work, social dimension of the person, Friendship, environmental influences, and family counseling.
In addition to this, two school sessions for parents were held, which is the preparation of teachers to start in January, after finishing with the graduate supervised practice, School for Parents. These sessions were prepared to plan the logistics of the schools, the annual schedule of meetings, activities, supervised practice, etc. Where are they who give the graduate classes to parents who are willing to receive them. The idea is that this diploma will have a multiplier effect on communities.
A group of supporters of the estate receiving the diploma, not being teachers, instead of creating a school for parents, had the opportunity for a community project with participating graduate schools to help strengthen education. This project involves the creation of a library.
In the month of January was conducted supervised practice of the participants, where they applied what they learned and then taught to parents of school.
Fruit Company’s banana plantations have sponsored this diploma, in order to achieve comprehensive development in the communities where we operate. We want those who teach the children of our employees, they are able to pass on good behavior, because not only care about their welfare but their entire families.
Some comments from those who received the diploma are:
Olga Shirin, Director of The Village School Boar of Frutera:
“We have been retrofitted with a diploma and we will serve in my community as many parents learn the issues that we as teachers will let them know and so my community can move forward.”
Guatemala, November 2009. Farms and La Sierra Las Vegas, located in the department of Escuintla, have been certified by the Rainforest Alliance, once again.
Frutera is interested in certifying their Rainforest Alliance farms because he is concerned to protect biodiversity, the rights and welfare of workers and local, close to the operations of the business community.
These farms have a total area of 337 thousand hectares five packing plants, all of them certified by the Rainforest Alliance since 2003.
This certification works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.
For over twenty years, Rainforest, as an international organization, working with farmers, forest managers and tourism professionals around the world and develops practices that protect water, soil, wildlife habitat and forest ecosystems.
Our farms meet the Rainforest Alliance standards and we have therefore been qualified for the seal of approval, which is widely recognized by businesses and consumers in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
To encourage farmers and forestry producers to adopt sustainable methods and reward their efforts, Rainforest Alliance certifies farms that meet the nearly 100 social, environmental and economic criteria developed by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN, for its acronym in English) A coalition of nonprofit organizations that promote sustainable agriculture.
Guatemala, September 2009. During September, the banana company took steps that resulted in positive and with the money obtained from them, are able to buy votes that were fixed on 2000 434 bags. Each contained two notebooks, a pencil sharpener, a pen, a pencil and an eraser and Q14.25 were worth, but were sold to Q1.00 students from surrounding schools Frutera farms: The Saw and The Vegas. .
This was done with the goal that all students have the skills to perform their tasks and class work in the best way and tools to learn their lessons well.
This activity benefited a total of 2 000 410 students. The votes were given to the school in San Francisco Madre Vieja (206 students), the village Huitzizil (232 students) of Ticanlú (446 students), San Jose Mogollon (535 students) of the seedlings (311 students) and parceling the Boar (680 students). It was decided to donate school supplies in these communities as they are all close to our farms and are home most of the families of our employees.
The principals and teachers of these institutions were very grateful and happy now that students have something to write and where.
Guatemala, September 2009. On September 8- 9 we had the visit of 19 community leaders from Escuintla, who were invited by the company to the National Forum 2009 with the theme? Creating Sustainable Growth ?, organized by Focus.
Focus (Center for Action CSR in Guatemala), founded in 2003, is an organization that today has over 100 member companies that belong to more than 20 sectors and sub-sectors of the country’s productive. They represent about 30 percent of Guatemala’s GDP and employ 150,000 families; becoming the coalition of companies promoting the country’s most influential CSR and one of the most important regionally.
The company invited the community leaders who live in places near the farm of La Sierra and Las Vegas, of United Fruit, in order to approach them, to know and be known, to report what is being done in our community programs Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and train them in this issue through the forum.
As part of the company attended Gustavo Bolaños, CEO, Bernardo Roehrs, Corporate Director, Stuart Garcia Salas, Production Manager at International Fruit Company, Glenda Barrientos, Corporate Human Resources Manager, Walter Tello, Human Resources Manager at farms and Crista Moon, Head of Corporate Affairs.
Leaders actively participated in the Forum, they heard presentations from various personalities who spoke of sustainable growth in several companies, participated in group activities, and personalities met and met each other.
The National Forum on CSR is the national meeting where companies, organizations of civil society, international organizations and public agencies to propose, meet, share and discuss a national strategy to meet corporate social responsibility.
This year, the theme of the forum was Creating Sustainable Growth ?, understanding sustainability as: meeting the needs of today without compromising the possibilities of tomorrow. The objective of the forum was to create awareness among companies about these key factors that frame the current economic climate.
This activity reached an advertising equivalency of US $ 43.028 and $ 63.000 media sponsorship; was present on television, newspapers, magazines, cinema, outdoor and online advertising. The day of the event, an audience of 500 was reached, this means that he had a 67 percent increase in participation compared to 2008; why the event has been billed as a success, this year 2009.
All leaders took the activity and had a good time learning about the exhibits of the Forum and we as a company, we have more contact with them.
Don Macedonio Tuc Tuc, Community Mayor, member of COCODE, Aldea El Jabali: This activity was very good. Never in my life had taken part in these things ?.
Ingrid Janet Munoz, nurse Village Huitzizil: “It was quality, which I liked best was when we went to hear the issue of win-win for communities, because here in the village that is what is making the banana with us. I learned at the Forum, business listings, what they do, what projects have several very important things. he was excellent. “
Guatemala, September 2009. For more than five years, the banana company United Fruit supports volunteer firefighters unit of Nueva Concepción, Escuintla, with gallons of fuel so they can cover the needs within the center and also in Nueva Concepcion nearby villages.
The fire department serves several communities where our employees live and that is why the company is interested in support for self care for themselves and their families in times of accidents.
Among the communities they serve firefighters are: Tierra Linda, The Boar, San Lorenzo, San Antonio Repair village Canoguitas, Las Pampas, Santa Ana Mixtán, Mora village, hamlet, Central America, San Jose Mogollon, Barrio Santa Teresa, the Village and the Chiribisco Trochas of I to XIV. In these places inhabits approximately 25 percent of our employees of the La Sierra, Frutera.
Guatemala, August 2009. ophthalmic medical missions were conducted with collaborators Frutera farms, located in the department of Escuintla.
The journey lasted a week, the exams were free and a discount of 10 per cent was given when buying lenses. Furthermore, given the opportunity to pay in ten installments.
The company is aware of its corporate social responsibility, made an ophthalmic day for all employees through a corporate contract, in which all employees were eligible for vision services that included: eye exams and eyeglasses to sell a deal preferred, since the prices were at a 20 to 40 percent discount and credit option and fees could be negotiated with partners. Assessments had no cost since they were paid by the company.
If the employee needed other more specialized eye treatment, could be transferred to the central clinic in the capital city to provide the necessary treatment.
The companies that perform these services for the collaborators of Frutera are authorized by the Ministry of Public Health companies, which comply with all the rules governed by the Ministry and the philosophy of customer service as the primary objective.
Guatemala, August 2009. On 12 and 13 August, started banana plantations in the Atlantic Fruit Company, a project called ‘Creating a process of constructive dialogue between the union and company management in Banana’.
Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and its partner CentraRSE in Guatemala, leading organizations in CSR, are working with the company to build the capacity of dialogue between employees and the company, and thus achieve effective interaction that meets the needs of both.
Achieving multi-sectoral dialogue between company and employees is a challenge for any company as it helps improve the working environment and good relations between management and workers and promotes the competitiveness of the company.
The objective of this project is to create a process of constructive dialogue between the union and the management of the farm Panajachel I and II, which allows to identify common themes to generate continuous improvements that affect the competitiveness and market access of the organization .
The first part of the project development was conducted two training sessions, which were held at the operational and administrative staff of the farm and were valuable for learning and motivation of employees, based on feedback from the participants gathered at the end activities.
The subject was taught in this training was ‘The value of investing in strengthening relations’, a group of about 30 people, with the aim of aligning the vision of the company.
This project has several benefits, among them are: create-term formal relationships and long, better communication between workers and management of the property, creating greater trust between workers and management of the property, creating an attitude of working together, grow productivity farm, and above all, to improve the working environment.
The results were positive and the comments and suggestions of the participants, valuable to take them into account, as most felt that this project would be beneficial because it would help them work together, would bring good results in the work, find new and better ways of working, more ideas and innovation to increase sales and reduce losses and motivate them to strive to create a suitable and pleasant working environment.
For more information, visit the link on the BSR website, where you will find the note on the proposed dialogue between workers and the company:
Guatemala, July 2009. Banana plantations from Frutera Internacional sponsored the training in family guidance given by the organization ENLACE in order to achieve an integral development for their employees and families in communities where they operate.
The training is a period of four months (July to November), which seeks to encourage participants, in this case teachers, principals, administrators of farms and community leaders, to improve their own behavior and experience of family values, to spread it in their environment and incorporate into their daily work, serving as example for the community.
Some of the topics to be discussed during the training are: individual and family values, education for freedom, character and personality, work, among others.
At the opening event attended by representatives of the Board of Frutera Internacional, members of the Board of ENLACE, community leaders, farm staff, school principals, teachers and members of COCODES.
This and other projects are part of the company’s commitment to support the community through education and training to improve their living conditions and simultaneously encourage them to participate in developing their own community.
Guatemala (July 2009) As part of its ongoing commitment and responsibility to develop good practices, banana plantations from Frutera Internacional received the international GLOBALGAP certification.
GLOBALGAP is a private sector body that sets voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products around the globe. GLOBALGAP is awarded to companies that demonstrate high standards of good agricultural practices that contribute to improve product quality, minimize negative environmental impacts of farming operations, and ensure a responsible approach to the health and safety of employees.
The certified banana plantations from Frutera Internacional were La Sierra and Las Vegas.
The company’s banana plantations have always been characterized for its commitment to meet the requirements of its customers and reassuring consumers of how production processes are completed. As a result, the company received additional global certifications from organizations such as the Rainforest Alliance and ISO14001 from the International Organization for Standardization. Frutera Internacional will soon receive the BASC (Business Alliance for Secure Commerce) certification.
Guatemala, June 2009. For the students of Escuela Rural Mixta of Huitzizil Village, their school day won?t be the same. Since June 17, 2009, their classrooms have lighting, one of the most critical physical characteristics of a school.
Good lighting should be considered an active element of the total educational environment since it contributes significantly to students? attitudes and performance. According to this, Frutera Internacional, which is committed to support local communities, donated electric power to the village?s school. In addition, the school was painted, areas such as the main entrance and the basketball court were repaired, and the construction of a new fence was made.
With this project, more than 240 students from the Huitzizil Village benefited and enjoy a new school environment where they can now study and pursue their daily activities.
This and other projects are part of the company?s commitment and corporate social responsibility programs, aimed to support local communities through the reparation and creation of infrastructure that permits the improvement of their living conditions while encouraging them to participate in the development of their own communities.
Guatemala, June 2009. Aiming to improve the conditions of students of the village San Francisco Madre Vieja, Frutera Internacional repaired parts of the installations of the village?s school, Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta, located in Tiquisate, Escuintla.
The school had serious roof damage, it presented holes where water, litter and sunlight easily entered, making it difficult for both teachers and students to follow the class dynamics. To solve the problem, the old foil sheets were replaced by new ones that do not allow the sunlight to go through.
In addition to this repair and thinking about the safety of students, a fence was built around the school to prevent children from leaving the area and crossing the Madre Vieja River, as it is a very dangerous step.
With the support of Frutera Internacional, always committed with the community to improve their living conditions, the population of San Francisco Madre Vieja village has a school in conditions in which their students can attend classes and enjoy the facilities without any trouble.
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