Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Papaya a Rising Star in the Tropicals Section

Article from Fresh Plaza Newsletter

Brooks Tropicals, the specialist in tropical fruits and vegetables from Homestead, Florida, is the largest importer of papaya into the USA. These papayas are grown in Belize and are sold under the labels Caribbean Red (Maradol-like papaya) and Caribbean Sunrise (Solo papaya). These papayas are marketed through retail, wholesale and food service and is used in fresh cut solutions increasingly more often.
Many retailers find that the papaya is now the biggest growing item in the tropicals section. Traditionally the main market for the fruit consisted of Asian and Hispanic clientele, but as more people are introduced to the fruit, often through holidays and cruises around the Caribbean, more people become aware of the excellent nutritional properties of the fruit.

The fruit is a bit melon-like in texture and has a distinct taste, but generally people that appreciate honeydew and cantaloupe melons will also appreciate papaya. As the fruit’s characteristics also provide a digestive aid, the papaya is perfect if you’re on a diet or watching your weight. Papayas are full of vitamins A and D and antioxidants.

Brooks Tropicals actively works together with retailers to provide customers with nutritional information to stimulate papaya consumption, but retailers can also choose to transform the look and feel to what suits their profile.

While the fruit is available year-round, papayas are generally a difficult fruit to grow. It takes careful planning to smooth out the production to cover a steady supply to market. Because of the professionalism required, Brooks Tropicals has its own grove operations and packing facilities in Belize, where it employs a total of 1300 people. Brooks' packing facilities recently passed a third party safety audit with flying colors.

The company is building a new headquarters facility in the area. Brooks Tropicals leases its papaya groves from farmers in Belize in a way that is beneficial to both. While Brooks grows papayas, the land itself is further nourished and replenished in such a way, that after the lease period farmers find crop production is improved significantly.

While hurricanes may impact shipping from Belize to the US, the area is generally out of their path and the company is flexible to the point where it can be 100% operational the next day after a storm. Sometimes eddos, calabazas, chayotes etc may be in tight supply after a storm or hurricane, the geographical spread of Brooks Tropicals production helps to ensure a steady inflow of fresh product.

For more information about Brooks Tropicals’ papayas contact Brooks Tropicals - Mary Ostlund, Director of Marketing(305)247-3544 ext. 372mailto:maryo@brookstropicals.com?subject=FreshPlaza%20Articlehttp://www.brookstropicals.com/