So how did this all get started? For over a decade a group of dedicated people from various successful technical backgrounds have conducted programs to try and protect and preserve the land and its inhabiting people here in Central America. ‘Fruit-Full’ Organic and Premium quality Solar Dried fruits is a project designed to bring sustainable futures to the indigenous and native populations of the Central American and Caribbean region. The products are the maximum health and quality tropical fruits of the region, dehydrated in solar dryers and full of goodness and nutrition. It is a labor intensive project where quality handling is the watchword. All participants from farmers through processors and shippers are aware of the need for quality. It is a project of sustainable development at the level of the farmer and of the processors. We work with Non Governmental Organizations on the agricultural aspects, through trainings and field work.
Fruit-Full products, as you will taste are simply and delightfully delicious. If anything is added it will be honey for certain of the more exotic products like Mamay, Cashew fruit and Star fruit (Carambola) which we have found enhances the finished product. We also have the advantage at Fruit-Full to introduce dried fruits that is not normally available because once they are picked, it is a matter of hours before they become over ripe and unable to ship. By being located in tropical climates, we are able to harvest and process exotic fruits within the time frame necessary.
The empowering and enfranchisement of these peoples is essential if they are to build their futures with cultural integrity and yet play a part in the greater global economy. The technology and resources are there at their disposal but the kick start is needed. Growth of the project will empower more producers and processors throughout the region.
Organic farming practices are on the increase in Belize and the region. We encourage organic farming practices above all other methods. We also encourage the development of affordable certification for indigenous and resident cultural farmers who cannot afford expensive certification. We are part of a movement to develop local organic certification which will meet all of the highest standards. We also are bringing to the market Premium quality solar dried fruit products. Many of our farmers in Central America are unable to meet organic quality but are able to produce premium quality. We are a force in the region towards food sanity and security which must in the end be as close to organic quality as possible. This means we encourage multi-culture of fruits and products on farms and not mono-culture. Much of the products we will engage will be organic by default since they grow in farmer’s yards where they do not use chemicals. (They cannot afford it and hopefully can be encouraged away from it) These products will form a base for Premium quality.
Fruit-Full products are grown and harvested by hand in a relatively new, growing enterprise. This means a lot of labor both in the land preparation, fertilization, cultivation and actual harvesting. Purchase prices of fruits must bring to the farmer the best of prices and is reflected in the end price of the product. Processing is done in the cleanest manner and handling through slicing, setting on drying screens, removal from screens, sorting, weighing, bagging, sealing and final packaging is all hand labor and this too is reflected in the end price. Because of all this we do not want middle men to handle the product since it will take it beyond affordability. Therefore we wish to get this product direct to you from the processor and the farmer. We can ship to you both in regular packaging or in gift pack (see selection). We have chosen some retailers to present our product and so you will see some of it in special locations.
Fruit-Full Products actually sell themselves. The taste of an non sugared, unpreserved, solar dried fruit is quite unforgettable. We won’t waste words on attempting the description; just try it!
Remember, purchasing Fruit-Full products will support the sustainable livelihoods of Mayan, Garifuna, Mestizo, East Indian, Kriol and other cultural entities in the Central American and Caribbean region. This is real time practice of fair trade and we invite you the purchaser to come and see for yourself.
Many people ask what does organic really mean? Organic means that fruits, nuts, seeds or other ingredients are grown without the use of any pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, sewage sludge, or ionizing radiation.
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:
Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.
People sometimes mistakenly think that organic dried fruits or nuts cannot be considered organic if they contain anything other than just the dried fruit or nut. However, this assumption is false. Dried fruit or nuts that are processed in an organic certified facility using other organic ingredients are still considered organic. For example, our organic strawberries contain in addition to the organically grown and certified strawberries, organic cane sugar and organic canola oil. Since all of these added items are grown organically, the strawberries are still considered organic.
Occasionally people confuse a product being called organic as the same as being all natural. All natural products may not contain any additives or preservatives, but it does not mean that they are organic. They can be all natural, but contain products that are not grown or produced organically.
The aims and objectives of the Association are:
- Support the wise use of the environment through the development and transfer of technology that is consistent with natural resource management and sustainable appropriately;
- Improve health and economic welfare of the Indians, identifying opportunities to diversify their food supply and providing alternative means to generate income so that they are compatible with the proper management of the environment and acceptable;
- Ensure and provide resources for the acquisition and exchange of information on scientific discoveries, management techniques, education, and other issues affecting the welfare and use of natural resources in the region;
- Identify and quantify anthropogenic impacts harmful to the environment and potentially can be reflected in public health and / or economic prosperity and population viability of the surrounding long-term;
- Achieving these goals through research, advisory services, training programs for the community, and the publication of scientific reports and other documents prepared by the Association.
These principles also follow the outline provided for supporting eco-tourism which are:
- Minimize impact.
- Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
- Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
- Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
- Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people.
- Raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climate.