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Brooks Tropicals LLC in Homestead, FL, announced Jan. 5 that Billy Pritchett has been named vice president of operations. In his new capacity, Mr. Pritchett will manage the company's Belize operations and its Homestead packing and distribution facilities.

"Our headquarters in Homestead handles the packing and North American distribution of more than 28 different tropical fruits and vegetables, including SlimCado avocados, starfruit, limes and Uniq fruit," said Mr. Pritchett. "Brooks Tropicals has made tremendous progress in the past year. The company has successfully recovered from Hurricane Dean, a Category 5 storm, which hit Belize in August 2007."

Brooks Tropicals' largest business operations are located in Belize, where the firm's Caribbean Red and Caribbean Sunrise papayas are grown under Brooks' subsidiaries Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers.

"Billy proved crucial to both the recovery and growth made in 2008," said Craig Wheeling, chief executive officer of Brooks Tropicals. "Our Belize management team is the best. With Billy's skills and years of experience in the produce industry, we can keep our momentum going."

Mr. Pritchett started working with Brooks Tropicals in January 1991. He received a series of promotions in the 1990s. In 2004, he was promoted to vice president of the company's Homestead packinghouse operations. "My chief goal will be to continue building solid communications between our Belize and Homestead facilities," said Mr. Pritchett.

In June, Brooks Tropicals' Belize facilities received a 95 percent audit rating, which is considered excellent. Also in 2008, its Homestead packinghouse was rated at 97 percent, and its cooling, cold storage and distribution center received a 99 percent rating.