Fyffes and Bayer Food Chain Partnership Join Forces to Sustain Local Communities
To provide economic opportunities for Honduran seasonal workers during the summer months, Fyffes and its subsidiary SOL Group have developed a Corn Production and Food Security Project in collaboration with Bayer Food Chain Partnership, Bayer being one of the leading pharmaceutical and innovative agricultural input companies in the world. The program involved providing farmer communities access to hybrid seeds, professional seed treatment, farmer trainings on good agricultural practices, agronomic advice and crop protection products including solutions to improve plant resilience and innovative spray technologies, like drones, which resulted in the production of 4,500 quintals of corn for the benefit of the local community.
SOL Group provided 185 acres of land from its farm Suragroh in Choluteca, as well as agricultural supplies, fertilizer, personal protective equipment, and technical assistance to facilitate communal production of corn during the melon off-season, benefitting more than 200 local families.
The project also included ‘Field School’ training sessions for the participants to support them throughout the entire crop cycle, teaching good agricultural practices, safety and hygiene, and the use and management of agrochemical products to improve yield and overall food security. In addition, it supported the local community through the establishment of a rural savings bank to manage community investment funds and develop a business model that will contribute to the food security in the region.
The joint project was developed in response to an independently conducted Community Needs Assessment undertaken by Fyffes in 2021, which highlighted the need for more economic opportunities in the region of Choluteca.
Speaking about the project, Fyffes Sustainability Coordinator in Honduras, Walther Fletes, said: “The Corn Production and Food Security Project with Bayer Food Chain Partnership has given beneficiaries a way to generate an alternative source of income for their families and to safely improve access to a grain in the staple diet of the local community.”
On the other hand, Rita Perdomo, Bayer CropScience Country Commercial Lead in Honduras, commented that “Honduras is going through multiple crises and food insecurity is one of them. The Corn Production and Food Security Project with Fyffes is a best practice example demonstrating how collaboration with the value chain improves the livelihood of local farmer communities. Key to its success is the holistic approach that we jointly took.”
The community corn production project aligns with Fyffes sustainability pillar Enriching People’s Lives and contributes to its sustainability target ‘100% of communities surrounding Fyffes will participate in community socio-economic resilience projects from the four community investment areas by 2030’.