Fyffes and its winter melon business Sol Group provide four medical clinics, five doctors, four nurses and five ambulances in the regions of Choluteca and El Paraiso, where their farms are located, to ensure that employees, their families and the local community can have access to otherwise inadequate and hard to reach healthcare. During the summer off-season however, community members struggle to access these medical services. To solve this problem, Sol has organized Community Medical Brigades to reach 15 communities surrounding its cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew melon farms.
Launched in July 2022, the Community Medical Brigades consisted of teams of at least one doctor, one nurse, and one pharmacist that conducted weekly medical visits to each community to provide primary care, awareness and prevention talks, and donation of medications to community members. The most prevalent medical conditions treated by the brigades included hypertension and diabetes as well as other common conditions. The largest proportion of beneficiaries were adult and elderly women, followed by adult men and children.
In 2021 and 2022, Fyffes conducted a community needs assessment in the areas surrounding its farms in Honduras, and many of the surveyed residents indicated that the medical infrastructure in the region was not adequate. Besides the Community Medical Brigades, other projects initiated as a result of the community needs assessments included supplying fresh fruit to a primary school’s nutrition programme, installing sanitation equipment in a primary school so that children could return to education post COVID19, a summer corn planting programme to provide off season employment and access to nutrition for Fyffes seasonal workers, as well as Fyffes ongoing gender equality training programme.
Speaking about the conclusion of this year’s medical brigades, Fyffes Sustainability Coordinator, Michael Fletes, said: “Fyffes and Sol Group are committed to support the local communities from where we employ over 5,000 seasonal workers and 400 permanent workers. Access to medical treatment is a human right, and we are pleased to be able to contribute to meeting the communities’ needs during the summer offseason.” Ends.
For over 130 years Fyffes has brought a choice of tropical produce to countless millions around the world. We achieve the highest quality by nurturing relationships with our growers, supporting our employees, and diligently serving each link in the chain: production, procurement, shipping, ripening, distribution, and marketing. This approach has earned Fyffes leadership across multiple markets; today we are the largest importer of Fairtrade certified bananas in the world. We are also one of the largest banana and pineapple importers in Europe and the biggest melon importer in North America. We became part of the Sumitomo Corporation in 2017, advancing our industry leadership in many exciting ways.
About Sol Group
Grupo SOL is the largest producer, packer, shipper and distributor of the highest quality melons and watermelons, produced in the tropical microclimate of Central America to the North American market during the North American winter months. Since 2013, SOL is a subsidiary of Fyffes and employs between 13,000 and 15,000 seasonal workers in in Honduras and Guatemala. In 2022, Sol received the CSR Seal from Fundación de Honduras de Responsabilidad Social Empresarial (FUNDAHRSE) that recognizes organizations that demonstrate leading practices related to employee and community relations, human rights, labour practices, governance, marketing, environment, and operational practices.