Social Capital 

“More and better jobs offer the best (often the only) opportunity for upward mobility in the lifetimes of poor people and their children. Upward mobility is key to securing the ultimate objects of development: freedom from hunger, long life, health, greater choice, and generally more human fulfillment” (IFC, Paths out of Poverty, 2000).

Our People are our most Important Asset

  • BSA pay-scale begins 35% higher than Belize agricultural wage; climbs to 450% higher

  • All employees have free Health/Life Insurance; subsidized family coverage is also provided

  • November 2019 Team: 5 Managers; 5 Skilled workers, 14 General workers, 23 Seasonal workers

Diversity and Opportunity

  • 40% of BSA Managers are women

  • 80% of Skilled workers started at BSA as General workers

The Company’s policy is to ensure equal employment and advancement opportunity for all qualified individuals without distinction or discrimination because of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, marital status or any other unlawful basis.

 

CSA does more than “Talk the Talk”; the Company strives to “Walk the Walk”, as can be seen in the two examples below:

 

                  Margareta “Margie” R.

 

Good Custodian of Belize's Natural Assets

  • BSA's Cayo One Estate has undeveloped perimeter buffer to protect local fauna

  • Regenerative farming practices are part of BSA's core farming strategy

  • Agri-Chemicals used advisedly and applied carefully

Community Contribution

  • BSA provides its local communities with employment

  • Procures safety uniforms from a Belizean manufacturer rather than as a foreign import

  • Uses a local agri-chemical supplier for certain products

  • Provides emergency road repair to the neighboring village when they need a helping hand

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Physical Safety is a cornerstone element, and BSA has taken many “Common Sense” steps to ensure the physical safety of its workforce, especially those operating in the field. Examples of this are all employees, whether permanent or seasonal, receive a free issue of Company Hats in “Safety Orange” and are expected to wear them at all times when in the field. Field employees also receive free issues of eye and hand protection equipment, although their use is at the employee’s discretion. Permanent Employees receive free issues of Company shirts in “Safety Orange” and are expected to  wear them whenever they are in the field. The same applies to heavy equipment operators who are also issued free eye and ear protection but are required to wear them. 

Knowledge Safety ensures that employees have sufficient knowledge to safely carry out their tasks.This commitment to Knowledge Safety is applied throughout the BSA organization in diverse areas such as heavy machinery operation, pesticide application and storage, and fuel dispensing and storage. 

Another example of BSA's commitment to its people can be seen in how BSA addressed the seasonal housing needs for its skilled equipment operators, many of whom live hours away from the Cayo One estate and either don’t own a vehicle or can’t afford an extended daily commute. Traditionally in Belize these key employees have worked out of campsites on a project, which during the country’s hot dry season can be quite challenging! Considering the typical 12+ hour shifts in a 24/6 work cycle during the short Dry Season, camping rough would be very demanding indeed for the BSA team. The Company’s core values meant an alternative solution was necessary, and a solution was found by renting a house in the nearby Cotton Tree village, hiring a local housekeeper to look after the workers, and contracting with a local village restaurant to ensure that its operators receive three square meals a day (plus a mid-shift snack for overnight crews). This created a true “Win-Win-Win” for BSA, its skilled operators, and the local villagers. BSA honors its core values as well as having happier and more effective workers, the skilled operators work hard but rest well (imagine returning to your air-conditioned bunkroom after a hot shower where your clean clothes are neatly folded on your bed), and the local village has gained both direct employment, rental income, and a substantial uptick in its restaurant trade.

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Margie was married in 2016 to one of BSA’s Highly Skilled workers who is a key team member. She moved three hours south from her childhood home in Blue Creek to the Belmopan area, where BSA runs the Cayo One farm, and was initially offered part time administrative work with BSA. In February 2017 she and her husband were discussing with BSA’s General Manager the Company’s urgent need for another skilled tractor operator when Margie said: “I can drive a tractor!” She explained that as a young girl her father had taught her to drive the family tractor to help out on the farm, and thus she was a practiced operator. BSA’s GM promptly took her out to the farm, and pointed to one of the Company’s  200 HP John Deere tractors and said: “Show me!” Margie fired up the tractor and effortlessly took it out into a field. The GM then hooked up a 20’ disk and asked her to go out and show him how she could use it. Margie passed the test with flying colors, and was immediately promoted to Skill 2 Worker status. In February 2017 Margie became a key member of the BSA field team, and disked, plowed, and harrowed thousands of acres. We are grateful to have discovered her impressive skill set and value her as part of our team! 

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Jesus E.

Jesus joined the BSA team in July 2016 as a General Worker. Jesus was born and raised in South Cayo and now lives in the neighboring village of Cotton Tree with his family. The challenging economic circumstances faced by his native More Tomorrow community limited all of his community’s educational opportunities; nonetheless Jesus achieved much, including speaking and writing both Spanish and English. It was those same challenging economic circumstances which meant that most of Jesus’ prior work opportunities were short term in nature. From the very first day Jesus joined the BSA team he distinguished himself by a consistently positive “Can Do” attitude, a willingness to take on any task assigned to him, and a natural aptitude for equipment and machinery. He also demonstrated solid leadership skills. Jesus’ attitude, reliability, adaptability, and “quick-learning” skills singled him out as having substantial potential. Jesus was promoted to a Skill1 worker in March 2017and has since risen to a Skill 3 worker level with a commensurate 100% rise in his regular wage. Jesus is currently managing a team of seasonal workers, although his manager considers that he has remarkable potential to grow in the years ahead. BSA is confident that any investment in education and training will yield excellent returns for both Jesus and the Company. 

CSA understands that its Social policies play an essential role in the Company’s long-term success by developing and retaining

the Company’s vital Human Capital and fostering goodwill in local, national, and regional communities. CSA will continue to monitor

and evolve its policies to follow the letter and spirit of Benjamin Franklin’s famous admonition:

 

"Doing well by doing good."

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)