Thursday, December 27, 2007

Belize Government recognizes work in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean

Ms. Anita Zetina - Chairperson of the Relief and Supplies Management Committee of NEMO, the National Emergency Management Organization of the Belize government - issued a certificate of appreciation to Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers for outstanding and selfless service in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Business Updates

Excerpts from the 12/24 Packer article by Abraham Mahshie

Construction on the Brooks Tropicals' new headquarters in Belize has been pushed back slightly from February to March because of Hurricane Dean.

Brooks is also installing a custom-built-papaya-packing machine at the facility that will allow the company to triple the volume it had before the storm.

"We're really committed to growing papayas in Belize and committed to growing this business in the future," Mary Ostlund, director of marketing said.

Happy Holidays!

Belize buildings are taking shape

As some of the outer buildings are given attention, some of the overall details, such as sidewalks, building drainage, and grading for parking lots, are being worked.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A great starfruit crop waiting to be picked

The starfruit's appearance this time of the year is special. What other fruit can bring 'stars' to our holiday tables?
Kevin Bryan, VP of Tropical Groves' Operation snapped this photo of one of our starfruit trees on the west coast of Florida. He reports that it's going to be an amazing crop.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Central American Produce Poised for Growth

Excerpts from article in Produce Business, November 2007 by Duane Craig

Central America is an important region for keeping the produce bins full throughout the year. Its fruits and vegetables help fill consumer desires for variety and healthful foods.

Outside the U.S. growing seasons "getting produce from Central America, is as close to the US market as you're going to get. Less travel means better shelf life and fewer worries about quality. I'm not surprised that Central America has become central to the retail produce section," says Mary Ostlund, director of marketing for Brooks Tropicals, LLC, Homestead, Florida.

Hurricanes Impact

Late summer hurricanes that struck the area appear to have left a mixed bag of crop damage in their wakes.

"We had considerable crop damage, but we are much more optimistic than we were at first," explains Ostlund. "We're seeing younger fields and fields that were further south of the storm having survived. The day after the hurricane we had a 90-member cleanup crew out in the fields resetting trees. We started planting literally two days after the storm." She credits the company's experience with hurricanes at its base in Florida key to minimizing crop damage.

"We were able to bring all our seedlings from our nursery into the packinghouse," Ostlund continues, "so we literally have a full complement of seedlings to go right back into the field. We're replanting with seedlings that we feel have the best in taste and better shelf life."

Brooks has more than five years of research and development into the new plants.

On the Horizon

"Next year we'll be ramping up volume in our Caribbean Sunrise and Caribbean Red papayas. But for the entire year, we think we'll have larger volumes than last year," said Ostlund.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Fairchild Botanic Gardens sets up coconut booth with Brooks Tropicals' help

Fairchild Botanic Gardens has an event called the Ramble every year. It's one of the 'must-go' events in the South Dade area.

Every year Brooks Tropicals gives coconuts for their coconut booth where your refreshment choice can be a pina colada or coconut milk straight from the source.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Redlands Christian Migrant Association's young artist chosen

In support of the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA), Brooks Tropicals selects artwork created by one of the association's children to grace the company's holiday cards, advertising and web site.

This year's RCMA artist is Maricela who is 13 years old and lives in Ruskin, Florida. Maricela plans on becoming a massage therapist when she grows up. Her favorite subject in school is social studies. She loves to play soccer and has a dog named Otis.
RCMA has served farmworker children and families in the state of Florida since 1965. Brooks Tropicals is proud to support RCMA and the many services they bring to the farming community. For more information about this organization go to

More construction photos from Belize

As work focuses on the interior of the administration building, the outer buildings progress steadily just a step or two behind.

Monday, November 26, 2007

First papaya harvest received in Homestead

The day after Thanksgiving, the first truck with the first papayas harvested since Hurricane Dean rolled in from the port.

Belize buildings progress

The main building has gotten stucco, a floor and drywall. Outer buildings are progressing just the same.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Supporting Fairchild Gardens

A favorite south Florida stop for tourists, garden-lovers and botanists, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden orchestrates art and science in their displays of tropical flowers, plants, and trees.

Brooks Tropicals supports this effort by donating tropical fruits and vegetables to be sold to park visitors in Fairchild's monthly market.

Here's a photo of the booth and our produce ready to be sold. FYI, 'Williams Grove' is the name of Fairchild's test farm in the Redlands.

For more information about Fairchild Botanic Garden go to their website at...

Friday, November 16, 2007

New entry point to Chef's Corner

A new floral look welcomes you to Chef's Corner. This photo is only a hint. Take a look by navigating to Chef's Corner from the Brooks Tropicals' home page.

New construction photos from Belize

Thursday, November 15, 2007

First harvest papaya packing

Photos will be posted in accounting and sent to Carlos.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

First harvest since hurricane Dean

Here are some photos from our first papaya harvest since hurricane Dean. For those without internet access, I will be putting the photos up on the bulletin board in accounting and sending a copy of the photos to Carlos in shipping.