DUBLIN — In July 2022, Fyffes and its winter melon brand Sol Group launched the Community Medical Brigades to support the local communities surrounding the company’s melon farms in Honduras.

Prior to the launch, the organization conducted surveys in 2021 and 2022 to find out what the communities’ needs were.

Since then, the program has brought four medical clinics, five doctors, four nurses and five ambulances to the Choluteca and El Paraiso regions.

The Community Medical Brigades are divided into teams of at least one doctor, nurse and pharmacist who do weekly medical check-ins with the communities to support them during the summer off-season when it is more difficult to find adequate healthcare.

Over the last several months, the most treated conditions were hypertension and diabetes.

“Fyffes and Sol Group are committed to support the local communities from where we employ over 5,000 seasonal workers and 400 permanent workers,” said Michael Fletes, Fyffes’ sustainability coordinator. “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 off-season.”

The development of the Community Medical Brigades led to more programs for the communities including an initiative to provide a primary school with fresh fruit for nutrition and sanitation equipment so that the pandemic would not prevent the children from receiving their education.

Fyffes also started a program to plant corn in the summer to provide jobs in the off-season and continued its existing gender equality training program.