Screen_Shot_2016-02-11_at_6.26.08_PMWith an economy already in shambles the north of Belize is about to feel an even greater impact. This morning word spread that Brooks Tropicals would close its doors in Belize after 22 years of operation. That rumour was confirmed by midday via a press release issued by Brooks and Tropicals, the parent company of Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers both located in the Corozal District.


The release states that the company's subsidiaries, Belize Fruit Packers and Fruta Bomba, will operate up to an additional six months and then completely close its doors.


So why is the company shutting down after more than a decade of operating here in Belize? Well, according to the release, “economic conditions, particularly after Hurricane Dean in 2007, have hindered the company's substantial efforts to rebuild to a profitable operation. Efforts included the building of a 16,000 sq. ft. operations building and considerable improvements to growing, packing and nursery facilities and processes.


The company states that their efforts to build and maintain efficient growing and packing operations in Belize over the last three years have not been successful and as a result they have incurred substantial annual losses that the company can no longer sustain.


Today while we were unable to speak with the manager of Fruta Bomba or Fruit Packers we did get comment from some of the employees.


Fruta Bomba Employees


“Solo hoy en la mañana nos dieron la noticia verbal e hicieron una junta con nosotros.”


Reporter


“Que exactamente les dijeron en la junta les dieron una fecha cuando va a dejar de funcionar la compaña?”


Fruta Bomba Employees


“Dijeron que hasta en Agosto que esta semana van a retirar un poco más de gente y la poca gente que van a quedar va a sobre vivir la papaya que se va a empacar hasta Agosto.”


Fruta Bomba Employees


“Tristes porque vamos a quedar sin empleo bastantes y acá hay parejas como yo que mi esposo quedo sin empleo la semana pasada.”


Brooks Tropicals says they will work closely with its employees and the government of Belize to bring about a systematic closure that meets the laws of Belize. All wages due employees based on Belize labor laws will be paid at the time employees are laid off.


CTV3 News understands that four years ago Fruta Bomba produced thirty five to forty containers of Papaya per week. That amount diminished over the years and last year the company was only able to produce close to a million boxes each weighing 33 pounds.

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