Fyffes and Bayer Food Chain Partnership Join Forces to Sustain Local Communities In Honduras With an Off-Season Corn-Planting Program

To provide economic opportunities for Honduran seasonal workers during the summer months, Fyffes and its subsidiary SOL Group have developed a Corn Production and Food Security Project in collaboration with Bayer Food Chain Partnership, Bayer being one of the leading pharmaceutical and innovative agricultural input companies in the world. The program involved providing farmer communities access to hybrid seeds, professional seed treatment, farmer trainings on good agricultural practices, agronomic advice and crop protection products including solutions to improve plant resilience and innovative spray technologies, like drones, which resulted in the production of 4,500 quintals of corn for the benefit of the local community.

SOL Group provided 185 acres of land from its farm Suragroh in Choluteca, as well as agricultural supplies, fertilizer, personal protective equipment, and technical assistance to facilitate communal production of corn during the melon off-season, benefitting more than 200 local families.

The project also included ‘Field School’ training sessions for the participants to support them throughout the entire crop cycle, teaching good agricultural practices, safety and hygiene, and the use and management of agrochemical products to improve yield and overall food security.

The project also supported the local community through the establishment of a rural savings bank to manage community investment funds and develop a business model that will contribute to the food security in the region.

This project was developed in response to an independently conducted Community Needs Assessment undertaken by Fyffes in 2021, which highlighted the need for more economic opportunities in the region of Choluteca. 

Speaking about the project, Fyffes Sustainability Coordinator in Honduras, Walther Fletes, said: “The Corn Production and Food Security Project with Bayer Food Chain Partnership has given beneficiaries a way to generate an alternative source of income for their families and to safely improve access to a grain in the staple diet of the local community.”

On the other hand, Rita Perdomo, Bayer CropScience Country Commercial Lead in Honduras,

commented that “Honduras is going through multiple crises and food insecurity is one of them. The Corn Production and Food Security Project with Fyffes is a best practice example demonstrating how collaboration with the value chain improves the livelihood of local farmer communities. Key to its success is the holistic approach that we jointly took.” 

The community corn production project aligns with Fyffes sustainability pillar Enriching People’s Lives and contributes to its sustainability target ‘100% of communities surrounding Fyffes will participate in community socio-economic resilience projects from the four community investment areas’ by 2030′. ###

About Fyffes 

For over 130 years, Fyffes has provided a selection of tropical products to millions of people around the world. We strengthen relations with our producers, support our employees and diligently attend to every link in the chain: production, procurement, transport, maturation, distribution and marketing, with the aim of achieving the highest quality. This approach has earned Fyffes leadership in several markets: we are the largest importer of Fairtrade-certified bananas in the world, one of the leading importers of bananas and pineapples in Europe, and the largest importer of melons in North America. We joined Sumitomo Corporation in 2017, which kept our industry leadership moving forward in many interesting ways. www.fyffes.com

About SOL Group 

SOL Group is the largest producer, packer, transporter and distributor of the highest quality melons and watermelons, produced in the tropical microclimate of Central America to the North American market during the winter months in North America. Since 2013, SOL is a subsidiary of Fyffes and employs between 13,000 and 15,000 seasonal workers in Choluteca and Ojo de Agua in Honduras and the Zacapa region in Guatemala. 

About Bayer

Bayer is an innovative agricultural input company and has businesses in high-value seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control.

In line with the commitment to Sustainable Agriculture, BAYER promotes and improves corresponding farming practices. The organization works with all participants in the food chain to sustainably safeguard and increase yields, to satisfy the quality criteria in the food chain and to improve farmers livelihood. Food Chain Partnership is a Bayer’s business model which supports farmers all over the world to meet the requirements of the Food Value Chain.