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 http://www.rcma.org/

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.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Avocado sales in all regions are up

Excerpt from Produce Merchandising 11/07, Connie Rhodes
Double-digit sales growth proves that avocados, once considered a luxury food that was reserved for the tables of royalty, are now enjoyed across the US by people from all walks of life.
In all regions except the West, avocado dollars increased at a faster rate than total produce department dollars, indicating increases in avocado contribution to total produce dollars.

Teaming up with the United Nations for hurricane Dean relief in Belize

It's one more story about hurricane Dean, but it's an important one to note.

After hurricane Dean ravaged the countryside of northern Belize, it was Fruta Bomba employees that helped to distribute emergency food and supplies for the United Nations’ UNICEF program. Fruta Bomba also sent out crews and equipment to clean-up debris and help repair homes in the area.

Working with the Belize Defense Force and the British Military, thirty employees of Fruta Bomba unloaded and repackaged over 120 metric tons of food which included water, rice, protein biscuits and beans. This was quickly accomplished due to a standing agreement between Belize’s National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and Fruta Bomba to provide company resources during and after a national emergency.

Besides the emergency food distribution workforce, twenty other employees were dedicated to working debris clean-up in the surrounding area. Other workers were teamed up to go out to the firm’s papaya fields setting trees upright and planting new seedlings for future harvests.

Overall eight army-sized trucks were put into hurricane relief action. The trucks were evenly divided between emergency supply distribution and clean-up work. In a span of two weeks, the clean-up trucks were able to make two passes through the surrounding communities using cane loaders to lift debris into the trucks. Crews also helped their neighbors in putting back roofs, repairing windows and other home repairs made necessary from the storm.

Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers grow and pack Caribbean Red® and Caribbean Sunrise® papayas in Belize, Central America. Hurricane Dean temporarily halted papaya production but company officials see a spring 2008 re-entry into the market.

Fruta Bomba replanted fields with nursery stock that’s a result of five years of research and development. The company is excited about the great taste and shelf life found in the papayas that these seedlings produce.

“2008 will actually be a great year for us in Belize,” said Craig Wheeling CEO of Brooks Tropicals. Both Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers are subsidiaries of this company which sells and distributes the papayas to the North American market.

“Hurricane Dean just gave us a late start. The year should end with record per acre production of both Caribbean Reds and Caribbean Sunrise papayas,” said Mr. Wheeling.

Committed to doing business in this Central American country, Brooks Tropicals has resumed building a new headquarters complex for Fruta Bomba while plans are going forward to install a custom-built packing machine for Belize Fruit Packers later on this month.

Photos from Belize

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Construction photos of Belize headquarters

photos taken 10/12/07 by Billy Pritchett

Friday, November 2, 2007

Coconut water - the new Gatorade?

Excerpt from an Esquire magazine article by Brad Nelson

Idea for a TV commercial: a remote hospital in a war-torn jungle. A man stumbles in on the brink of starvation, clothing in shreds. The doctor sticks a straw into a sack of IV fluid. The man drinks it, smiles, and shouts: "Viva the Coconut!"

Okay, a little cheesy. But not far-fetched. Coconut water - found in young, green coconuts- has been used as IV fluid in rural areas because it has the same electrolyte balance as blood. (You'll never see a doctor administer a Gatorade drip.)

What other countries can teach us about eating right.

Excerpt from article in Esquire magazine 11/07 by Dr. Mehmet Oz

There are places in the world where people live about as long as we do without needing fancy medicien or surgery. We can learn from them.

Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula
Fruit every day - especially papaya, which you can now get year-round in the U.S. Papaya contains enzymes that help break down food in the stomach, which lets you absorb more nutrients. It's also a prebiotic, which means it promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut.