Choluteca, Honduras – Fyffes and its Honduran melon subsidiary Sol Group have launched a series of “community medical brigades” to reach community members and seasonal workers around their farms during the off-season.
The project started this month in Colonia Buena Vista, Marcovia, where 79 people have already received medical care, and it will be extended to 14 other communities in the Choluteca and El Paraíso regions in the coming weeks. Community medical brigades should reach a minimum of 1,000 people – around 500 children and 500 adults over 40 – with symptoms of seasonal illnesses and/or diagnosed with underlying illnesses.
Sol Group has four medical clinics on or near its farms in Honduras (three in Choluteca and one in Ojo de Agua), three salaried doctors and five company-paid ambulances, including three new ambulances this year, as well as four nurses who are on contract during the season. One of the main reasons for setting up the new Community Medical Brigades is to extend medical care to community members, especially temporary workers who find it difficult to access medical clinics on farms during the dead- season.
Community Medical Brigades include health awareness talks, preventative medicine and care focused on underlying diseases (dengue fever, diabetes, hypertension, kidney failure), common seasonal ailments (respiratory and gastrointestinal infections) , as well as raising awareness of the benefits of vaccination against COVID -19.
Commenting on the project, Sustainability Manager and Project Manager, Michael Fletes, says: “In September 2021, we conducted a community needs assessment, interviewing 900 people from 14 different communities in the region surrounding our farms. melons in Choluteca. Community members told us that the medical infrastructure in the area was not adequate. This project is particularly important for women with underlying illnesses whose options for accessing medical services are limited and who must leave the community to seek medical assistance, having to invest additional time and money to do so. We believe that this project will allow us to better understand current health challenges and, in the future, to move towards programs with a more preventive and awareness-raising approach for our priority communities. Ends.
For over 130 years, Fyffes has provided a choice of tropical products to countless millions of people around the world. We achieve the highest quality by maintaining relationships with our producers, supporting our employees and diligently serving every link in the chain: production, supply, shipping, maturation, distribution and marketing. This approach has earned Fyffes leadership in several markets; today we are the largest importer of Fairtrade certified bananas in the world. We are also one of the largest importers of bananas and pineapples in Europe and the largest importer of melons in North America. We became members of Sumitomo Corporation in 2017, advancing our industry leadership in many exciting ways.
About Sol Group
Grupo SOL is the largest grower, 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 has been a subsidiary of Fyffes and employs between 13,000 and 15,000 seasonal workers in Choluteca and Ojo de Agua in Honduras and in the Zacapa region of Guatemala.