FRUTERA, worldwide recognized for the high quality of its banana production, uses the highest technology in agricultural practices to guarantee an excellent final product.
FRUTERA is concerned with every detail in the production process of its bananas from the selection and care of the soil to the prompt delivery to its customers. Dedication to customer satisfaction and the welfare of its workers and their communities is what makes FRUTERA a market leader in the production of bananas as well as a source of employment and export income for Guatemala.
FRUTERA works with finest seeds carefully selected and imported from Israel. The variety of banana planted is the Williams’ banana, which adapts easily to the ecosystem on the southern coast of Guatemala.
- The seeds spend five to six weeks in the nursery.
- At this stage, the seeds are carefully supervised, monitored, and watered daily.
- After six weeks in the nursery, the young plants are transferred to the field where they are planted at a density of 1650 trees per hectare.
- Before beginning the process of planting, the soil is prepared to prevent flooding.
Protection of the fruit
- The cluster of bananas is under constant observation during the first three weeks by three different specialists who monitor their progress on a daily basis.
- The first seven days after the flower blooms, it is covered with a recyclable agribon bag. The bag’s function is to protect the fruit from insects, dust, and direct sunlight.
- The second step is to deflower the cluster, which is done in three different stages to prevent the growth of fungus and possible scarring of the fruit.
- The third step is to thin out the “hands” of bananas, which occurs between 14 and 21 days. At this stage, three banana “hands” are cut in order to have more space and allow the remaining fruit to grow bigger. It also helps to prevent scarring during the growth of the remaining bananas.
- The last step is to attach a colored ribbon to each plant. All clusters are marked with a colored ribbon to identify the week they were born to be able to harvest those twelve weeks later.
- The fruit is transported to the packing plant in special trays. This type of packaging requires more people and more time; however, it allows us to deliver better quality fruit to the marketplace.
Processing of bananas for the marketplace
We train hundreds of workers to be able to give our customers the best quality bananas available. FRUTERA utilizes experts in every stage of the production process:
Stem reception stage: the stage where the fruit comes in from the field. The clusters are numbered and calibrated to check if the fruit has the level of maturity required.
Deflowering: is the process of removing the flowers from the cluster of bananas so the fruit does not continue on to the next stage with any residual flowers.
Water tanks: is where the employees remove individual bunches of bananas from the plant’s stem.
Selection Area: these people are responsible for selecting and classifying the fruit with the strictest quality parameters to fulfill the needs of our customers.
Sealing Area: the fruit is labeled.
Weighing area: the fruit is weighed according to customer specifications.
Packaging area: Finally, the fruit is packed and weighed again and then put on pallets. This phase calculates the total amount of the freight and affixes the bar codes and other data, to further control the production.
At the packing plant, bunches are cut, selected, and carefully packed following strict standards of quality and hygiene. The Quality Control Manager is responsible for maintaining the quality of the product, according to each customer’s specifications, to the point when it is shipped.
WE CARE FOR OUR PEOPLE
To ensure the health of its employees; there are strict rules in the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for each activity during the stages of planting and production. For example, the employees who work with irrigation engines use ear protection, and employees who work in packaging must use hair nets at all times.
Additionally, FRUTERA conducts training sessions for all of its staff, as well as providing regular medical examinations to ensure their health.
FRUTERA also cares about the environment. This is why it adheres to strict environmental standards in all areas of production to ensure an optimal relationship between the environment, the community, and their plantations.