Fruita Bomba has been operating in Northern Belize for the past 22 years but on Thursday, 11th February, it announced that in 6 months time it will be closing its doors permanently. The parent Company, Brooks Tropicals, which operates both Fruita Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers is located in San Joaquin, Corozal and grows and exports papayas, currently employing over 250 Belizean workers. The company hired three times that amount before 2007, but since Hurricane Dean struck the north that year, the bounce back has been slow and financially burdensome. In a statement issued by Greg Smith, CEO of Brooks Tropicals, “it is necessary to close both subsidiary companies due to major annual monetary losses that have been affecting the companies since the Economic Tragedy that occurred due to Hurricane Dean in 2007.” Now Fruita Bomba is no longer able to sustain the annual monetary losses that have been occurring. CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche told one media house QUOTE “”I believe it was a bit abrupt. Government regrets the decision. There is not a whole much we can do at this point in time …” , adding that he believed that the government did all it could. On the other hand, the Leader of the Opposition, Hon Johnny Briceno, himself from the north, says that this bad news has been in the making for some time. No doubt those who will be the most affected are the workers, who, after years of labour in the papaya industry will find themselves in the next few weeks without a paycheck, adding to the already double digit unemployment rate. Brooks Tropicals says that, as it winds down its operations, it plans to ensure that employees get compensated in accordance with the labour laws of Belize.