Fruta Bomba and Employees Run Into Hard Times

By
Updated: February 9, 2016

A few days ago our newsroom received reports that several employees of Belize Fruit Packers Company Limited were terminated because its sister the company, Fruta Bomba, was experiencing low production due to several economic factors. Today we confirmed that 38 employees had to be terminated and Fruta Bomba will not be producing a large amount of papayas from now on. Hipolito Novelo was in Corozal and has the story.

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

“Work carried out as usual at Belize Fruit Packers Company in Corozal Town. However, there were ten employees less today. That’s because they were laid off on Friday. Fifty employees remain bAut some of them say they have two more months before they too are laid off.”

EMPLOYEE

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

“The same is for employees working out in the fields for Fruta Bomba. Love News confirmed that 28 employees were laid off on Friday. The company released a press statement issued by the CEO of Brooks Tropicals, the parent company of Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers. In the release, CEO Greg Earl Smith stated quote, “this lay off was necessary due to the reduction of acres in Belize”, end of quote.  In its latest figures, the Statistical Institute of Belize reported that in 2015, a bit more than thirty thousand pounds of papaya was exported- a decrease when compared to 2014.  Smith says that quote, “There are many reasons why Fruta Bomba is reducing acres but the primary reason is to spread the economic risk of growing papayas in one location. The impact of hurricane Dean in 2007 is still being felt by Fruta Bomba. To stay a viable producer and for our economy survival we have been required to downsize and reduce expenses, these includes labor”, end of quote.  Some of the employees who requested to remain anonymous have been working there for more than five years but doubt they will receive what is due to them.”

EMPLOYEE #2

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

“The companies release does say that quote, “All employees affected will be paid the full amount required by the government of Belize. We regret very much having to do this but financially we have no choice. We are still committed to growing in Belize fewer acres”, end of quote. Aguilar could not say if anymore employees would be laid off in the near future. Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo.”