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Spotlight on First Fruits of Washington

Emily Balducci Dec 3 , 2015

This 6,000 acre orchard, owned by Ralph and Cheryl Broetje, is dedicated to “profit, people, planet and purpose”.  Ralph and Cheryl are so committed to creating positive social change that they donate up to 75% of their profits to charities around the world.

After visiting Mexico to learn more about the culture of their harvest crew, the couple dedicated themselves to improving farm worker conditions. First, they created sustainable work for their staff by planting varieties that needed to be harvested year-round. They, then, addressed the deplorable living conditions of their crew and invested $5 million of their own money to design and build an affordable housing development called “Villa Hermosa”. Once they built their on-site packing house and warehouse, they realized that the women they employed had nowhere to leave their children during the day. Next, they built an affordable daycare facility for their employees with access to nearby libraries, schools, chapels and stores. The Brotjes now fund a community in Pasco, Washington that helps employees navigate a path to home ownership.

Their passion for people and a higher spiritual calling is matched by their strict production standards. First Fruit produces superior pieces of fruit and their picking and packing methods operate at the highest possible level. 

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