AgroAmerica

Archives November 2012

Be Aware Of B6: Banana Nutrient Linked To Lower Breast Cancer Rates

Be Aware Of B6: Banana Nutrient Linked To Lower Breast Cancer Rates.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month -a time to promote education about the healthy habits that can help women lower their risk and overcome the disease.

Ample research backs the protective potential of produce consumption in general, but we were especially encouraged by one particular study which singled out vitamin B6 -found in bananas, potatoes, turkey breast and wild salmon.

Agroamerica, through the project “Nutritional Reinforcement with Bananas” in alliance with the Food Security Secretariat- SESAN [for its initials in Spanish], is training women and rural mothers in three municipalities of San Marcos Guatemala, on the nutritional value of bananas and its impact on breast cancer prevention, while the company donated 150.000 bananas to each municipality.

In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology, researchers compared dietary habits to rates of breast cancer incidence among 1,173 Taiwanese women. Researchers discovered that premenopausal women (under age 52) had 53% better odds of not getting breast cancer if their vitamin B6 intake was above a mere 30% of daily value -the amount found in an extra large banana.

What’s behind the power of B6? The vitamin is involved in metabolizing estrogen -which is why previous research found lower levels of B6 among those on hormonal birth control. Too little B6 could mean more estrogen, which in turn could increase the risk of estrogen related tumors. The B vitamin also plays a role in DNA repair, thus potentially helping to prevent genetic mutations that might lead to cancer.

How to make sure you?re getting enough B6?

Here’s a checklist:
– In addition to the sources listed above, you?ll find B6 in Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and cauliflower.
– Watch alcohol intake and don’t smoke -both booze and butts deplete the body’s B6 levels (not surprisingly, both are also linked to higher breast cancer rates).

Don’t reach for the supplement shelf: Not only are B6 pills less effective in protecting DNA, excessive supplementation led to nerve damage in the arms and legs, in one basic study.

By Dole

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Agroamerica Contributes To The Reconstruction Of Two Schools In San Marcos, After Last Week Earthquake

Agroamerica Contributes To The Reconstruction Of Two Schools In San Marcos, After Last Week Earthquake

Guatemala, November 2012. On November 7, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck Guatemala, killing 52 people, 40 in the department of San Marcos and 11 in the department of Quetzaltenango, region where a large part of the operations of Agroamerica are located and a large number of its employees live. Also one million and a half people were affected, more than 12,000 houses damaged, schools and buildings destroyed and more than eight thousand people are in shelters.

Agroamerica donated 20,000 blocks to help rebuilt the Institute of Commercial Science in San Pedro Sacatepéquez and Central de Párvulos School in San Marcos. Agroamerica also donated bananas for the people in the shelters in several municipalities of San Marcos.

Jose Galvez, president of Agroamerica, stated: “We regret this tragedy that has affected our country and the families of our employees. We sympathize with the victims, mainly with the inhabitants of San Marcos and Quetzaltenango and hope that with our grain of sand we can alleviate some of the pain of thousands of Guatemalans.”

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AgroAmerica Trains Central Office Personnel To Respond And Evacuate In Case Of Earthquake Or Fire

AgroAmerica Trains Central Office Personnel To Respond And Evacuate In Case Of Earthquake Or Fire.

Guatemala, November 2012. Last Friday, in the central office of Agroamérica, a course on how to respond and evacuate in case of earthquake or fires was given to a group of employees that will work as leaders in charge of training the rest of their colleagues and guide them in case of emergencies.

The workshop was given by the director of the Technical Training School of the Municipal Firefighters with the support of Seguros Validat, with the aim of training the staff to act correctly, prevent injuries during earthquakes or fires, and to know how to react and evacuate the building.

The next step is for the leaders of each level to train the rest of their colleagues, according to what they learned in the course.

Some of the recommendations that must be followed in case of an earthquake or fire are the following:

FIRE

  • Do not wait but begin evacuation immediately.
  • To walk crouched to inhale less smoke.
  • Touch doors carefully before opening because they could be very hot.
  • Call the firefighters immediately.
  • Use the stairs, do not use the elevators.
  • Make sure that everyone is out and headed to a meeting point to count all personnel.

EARTHQUAKE

  • Stay calm.
  • During the earthquake, you must not walk or run out and when it ends, you must proceed to evacuate through the established routes.
  • Keep away from glass.
  • Protect yourself in a safe place until the earthquake stops and then follow the instructions that the group leader will give.
  • The theory of the triangle of life was explained.

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AGROAMERICA WILL CREATE A HUMAN DEVELOPMENT CENTER IN THE AREA OF THE TRIFINIO, SOUTHWESTERN PART OF GUATEMALA

AGROAMERICA WILL CREATE A HUMAN DEVELOPMENT CENTER IN THE AREA OF THE TRIFINIO, SOUTHWESTERN PART OF GUATEMALA

Guatemala, November 2012. Agroamérica has begun the process of creating a Human Development Center-CDH- (for its initials in Spanish) in the southwestern part of Guatemala, region where a high number of the companies? workers live. Through health and education centers this center will contribute to improve the standard of living of the inhabitants of the communities located in the trifinio (point where three territorial divisions converge) of Retalhuleu, San Marcos and Quetzaltenango, specially for the workers of Agroamérica and their families.

The project comes to life due to the food security program- Happy Families- that has been implemented during the last four years in five communities, giving benefits to more than 400 participating mothers and their families and more than 500 children.

In order to improve the program and have a greater impact, Agroamérica made a partnership with the hospital of the University of Colorado-Colorado Children’s Hospital-, with whom they signed a Memorandum of Understanding to make the best of their experience on the public health topic and in programs for mothers in the rural areas, such as the program Colorado Bright Beginnings.

The mission of the CDH will be to grant opportunities for the integral development of low-income people, families and communities located in the southwestern trifinio of the country, to achieve their wellbeing, improve their standard of living and contribute to eradicate poverty in the area.

Agroamerica seeks to teach and implement self-management models for integrated rural development generating wealth and competitive development, through human and technical education and comprehensive health services, among the families of the trifinio.

The CDH will offer basic health and education services to more than 25 communities located in the southwestern trifinio, where more than 6,000 families live. This translates in benefits to more than 30 thousand people.

Progress

In the area of education, Escuela Fernando Bolaños, was founded 2 years ago with pre-elementary and elementary school. In the health area, a group of doctors of the University of Colorado visited the communities, made a diagnosis of the situation and a baseline study. In the area of infrastructure, students of architecture of the same university visited the zone, designed a health center, a research and training center, and proposed to build a housing development with local alternative materials and a community construction company.

At this time, a team from the University of Colorado is training the staff of “Happy Families” in a registry system; plans are being made for the medical clinics and the hostels for the doctors and a second phase for Escuela Fernando Bolaños is being built.

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AGROAMERICA PARTICIPATED IN THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “TOWARDS CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ALONG SUPPLY CHAINS”, IN PRAGUE

AGROAMERICA PARTICIPATED IN THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “TOWARDS CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ALONG SUPPLY CHAINS”, IN PRAGUE

Guatemala, November 2012. Bernardo Roehrs, director of Agroamerica’s Corporate Affairs, participated in the conference “Towards Corporate Social Responsibility along the supply chain: How and why should companies behave responsibly” which took place in Prague, Czech Republic, last month.

This conference was held on International Day of the Eradication of Poverty and the participants included civil society organizations, corporate actors, union members, public and academic sector, policy designers and representatives of workers and small producers in the Caribbean, Africa and Latin America. The objective was to discuss the role of companies along the supply chain, the working conditions of the workers, their communities and the diversity and sustainability of the environment in which they live.

Topics such as the impact of the corporate behavior at the wage level and gender rights were approached, using examples of supply chains of tropical fruits; identifying where and how progress is possible. The participants, among them, representatives of the fruit companies, suppliers, union members and persons of the civil society of all of Europe, had the opportunity to share their experiences firsthand on the problems and their possible solutions.

Bernardo Roehrs, representing Agroamérica, said the company was invited to present the issue of a dignified wage (living wage) because they are pioneers in the region and to show that in Guatemala, workers are well paid because it is a highly productive country.

The conference was organized by Frutas Justas! A consortium of European NGO’s: Banana Fair (Germany), Banana Link (United Kingdom), NaZemi Czech Republic and Peuple Solidaire (France) as part of the project, “Moving support for the fair and sustainable supply chains of bananas and pineapples” co-funded by the European Union.

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AGROAMERICA WORKERS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS FROM ESCUINTLA ARE BEING TRAINED TO “RESPOND TO NATURAL DISASTERS”

AGROAMERICA WORKERS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS FROM ESCUINTLA ARE BEING TRAINED TO “RESPOND TO NATURAL DISASTERS”

Guatemala, November 2012. Together, 35 employees of the Agroamerica farms and more than one hundred leaders of the neighboring communities received training for “response and evacuation in case of natural disasters”, a course given by the National Coordinator for the Reduction of Disasters-CONRED-.

Following up on the Local Coordinators-COLRED-formed two years ago in the farms and communities to respond and prepare in case of natural disasters, this training was coordinated and information on the new structure of COLRED was given, for a smooth operation at action time.

The group of 35 trained employees formed a new COLRED in Agroamerica’s farms, which means that they are accredited to lead actions in cases of emergency and prevention.

Lucia Carrillo, community leader from El Jabalí, stated, “I learned several things that I didn?t know and now feel more able to help and organize my people in the community”.

Rudy Hernández, in charge of the storeroom, added, “This training will help us know what our role will be when we have to guide people during emergencies. We learned we have to help everyone no matter who they are.”

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AGROAMERICA PARTICIPATES IN CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY-CSR- ACTIVITIES AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL

AGROAMERICA PARTICIPATES IN CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY-CSR- ACTIVITIES AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL

Guatemala, December 2012. Agroamerica participates in Corporate Social Responsibility activities, organized by the Canadian Embassy and CentraRSE, in order to share CSR projects of the company, learn from other businessmen, and help Guatemalan society achieve sustainable development in the country.

Last month, Agroamerica participated in the forum “The importance of dialog with stakeholders to develop a corporate social responsibility strategy”, organized by the Canadian Embassy and the Chamber of Commerce of Canada; and in the CSR week organized by CentraRSE. Government entities, NGO’s, private and public sector entities and academic institutions were invited to both events to enrich the dialog on issues that promote sustainability and the country’s growth, through good labor, social and environmental practices.

Bernardo Roehrs, Corporate Director of Agroamerica, participated in the CSR week of CentraRSE, a national event where professionals and opinion leaders participated in more than 15 conferences and discussion forums on CSR and Sustainable Development. Roehrs was invited to participate in the forum “Multidimensional Poverty” which talked about strategies to mitigate poverty and the role of the private sector as a key actor. The Director submitted Agroamérica’s initiative to create a Human Development Center in the zone of the southwestern trifinio (triangle where three different geographic zones converge) of the country; and the CSR good practices that Agroamérica has as a leader in this topic.

In the panel of the Canadian Embassy, Crista Luna from Agroamerica, shared the social projects focused on health and education that are taking place in the communities that surround the operations of the company, which gives benefits to its workers, their families and the communities. Other participating companies in this event were Almo, Cementos Progreso, Transactel/Telus, Panamerican Hydro, Ingenio Pantanléon, and Goldcorp, institutions that watch for the promotion of responsible practices such as CentraRSE, Sustainable Solutions and Sustainable Strategies. Universidad del Istmo and government institutions, such as the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Energy and Mines, also participated.

Jennifer Chacón de Mejía, Commercial Delegate of the Canadian Embassy, thanked the private sector companies that shared their good practices.

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AGROAMERICA RECEIVED THE AWARD FOR PRODUCTIVITY AND COMPETITIVENESS “RICARDO CASTILLO SINIBALDI 2012″

AGROAMERICA RECEIVED THE AWARD FOR PRODUCTIVITY AND COMPETITIVENESS “RICARDO CASTILLO SINIBALDI 2012″

Guatemala, December 2012. Agroamerica, received the annual Award for Productivity and Competitiveness “Ricardo Castillo Sinibaldi 2012″ in recognition of its work and effort to create a world class company, that supports the economy and development in the country and the region.

Bernardo Roehrs, Corporate Director of the company, received the recognition from the hands of Carlos Contreras, Minister of Labor, Jorge Gallardo, manager of INTECAP, and Mr. Ricardo Castillo Sinibaldi.

“We have to invest more on social issues”, stated Roehrs on receiving the statuette and medal of recognition. “As an entrepreneur, I invite you to rethink how many resources are socially invested. Today’s challenge for Guatemalans, for companies and stockholders is this: social investment or to have no company tomorrow. Social investment is productivity. Social investment is competitiveness. Today’s world recognizes this and knows it”.

In 2004, the board of Directors of INTECAP, recognized the importance of rewarding the merit of those who had excelled in providing service to Guatemala and agreed to institute the Award for Productivity and Competitiveness Ricardo Castillo Sinibaldi, as an honorary distinction for national companies.

This 2012, is the ninth award edition. The nomination for the Award was made by the Chambers that make up the country’s economic sector (Chamber of Industry, Chamber of Agriculture, and Chamber of Commerce). There were nine companies nominated for the Award: Agroamerica, Tigo, Samboro, Emisoras Unidas, Tejidos Politex, Eltitex, Guatemalan Candies, Lignum S.A. and Pilones de Antigua, from which Agroamerica was chosen to receive the big award.

The jury made up of the Presidents of each of the Chambers, Mr. Ricardo Castillo Sinibaldi and Jorge Gallardo Flores, Manager of INTECAP.

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AGROAMERICA BENEFITED MORE THAN 500 PEOPLE IN RETALHULEU AND SAN MARCOS WITH MEDICAL CARE, TEST AND MEDICINES

AGROAMERICA BENEFITED MORE THAN 500 PEOPLE IN RETALHULEU AND SAN MARCOS WITH MEDICAL CARE, TEST AND MEDICINES

Guatemala, October 2012. Agroamerica in partnership with Fundación Santa Teresa de Ávila y Rene and the health centers of the villages, last week conducted two medical consult days in village La Blanquita of the department of Retalhuleu and in Los Limones, department of San Marcos. The activity benefited more than 500 people in rural areas, most of them farm workers and their families.

On both days medical assistance and tests were provided and medication was given at no cost for the beneficiaries. Free transportation was also given to all attendees and travelling expenses for the doctors and nurses. The total cost of the activity was Q46,000.

“For Agroamerica the preventive health of their employees and their families is very important”, commented Humberto Orozco, Community Relations Manager in Agroamerica. “That is why we coordinate with Fundación Santa Teresa de Avila y Rene to benefit the population of the rural area, bringing medicine and tests that are not available to them, either because of the distance or due to their price”, added Orozco.

Advantage of the activity was taken to raise awareness among young people about the drug problems. Orozco gave a conference for 150 middle school students of the Instituto por Cooperativa of community La Blanca, about drug addiction.

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