Jasmine Curtis-Smith (center) and Fruitas PWD employees and their families say “I love you” in American Sign Language as they celebrate an early Christmas salu-salo
MANILA, Philippines — Committed to cultivate an open and inclusive workplace environment, Fruitas Holdings Inc. (FHI), together with brand ambassador Jasmine Curtis-Smith, recently held a thanksgiving salu-salo to its person with disabilities (PWD) employees and their families to thank them for their hard work and continuous support to the company for the past years.
As a way to give back to its employees, FHI gathered its PWD employees for an early Christmas treat at the La Petite Parisienne at Le Village Lifestyle Park in Quezon City. The employees and their families enjoyed a sumptuous lunch prepared by the company and each family received a special Christmas bag filled with Fruitas goodies and holiday groceries.
To make the event even more special, Fruitas ambassador, actress and model Jasmine Curtis-Smith, surprised the guest employees by dining with them and helping distribute the Christmas packages to everyone. As a way to express her gratitude for being a part of the Fruitas family, Curtis-Smith also learned a few basic sign language acts to thank the employees personally.
“It is a great feeling to be a part of a family like Fruitas, who values inclusivity and believes in the ability of all of their employees. I am inspired to see these differently abled employees who do not let their disabilities limit them to work hard every day and provide for their families,” Jasmine said. “This salu-salo is not about me or about the Fruitas company. This is for each and everyone of them who have supported and helped the company incessantly to grow to what it is today.”
An equal opportunity employer through and through
Since its opening in 2002, FHI has always had its doors open to all Filipino employees, regardless of their age, gender, educational attainment, and disability. Apart from giving them means to earn and support their families, Fruitas provides them a platform to grow and contribute to their personal development, and see them pursue their dreams.
“We at Fruitas Holdings Inc. recognizes and believes on the capability of each and every employee. We offer the PWDs the same benefits as others and we don’t treat them differently,” said Fruitas Holdings Inc. President and CEO Lester Yu. “Fruitas aims to build a safe and inclusive working environment for individuals who may be deemed unemployable by other companies.”
Fruitas Holdings Inc. currently employs over 40 differently abled personnel including the deaf and mute, people with neurodevelopmental disabilities, ADHD, autism, and orthopedic conditions. With the guidance of FHI area managers, the company enables these employees to serve at the frontline to interact with customers directly in stores like Fruitas Ice Candy and Juice Avenue.
Fruitas Holdings Inc. Human Resources Head Teresa Trujillo shared that they are able to build a great sense of sensitivity and responsibility among all employees from hiring PWD applicants. These PWDs, who are usually the breadwinners of their families, inspire other employees to do better in their work and achieve greater things in the company.
“For us, it’s not just about providing these people with job opportunities, and a source of income. We are also able to learn so much from them and by simply having them here in Fruitas, we are able to cultivate a better, more sensitive, responsive, and inclusive workplace environment for everyone,” said Trujillo.
At present, Fruitas Holdings Inc. is in partnership with Unilab, who helps the company provide jobs to PWDs through their comprehensive pool of employees. Through this endeavor, Fruitas was also able to launch their own Sensitivity Orientation Program, which guides other FHI employees who will be working directly with PWDs to recognize the potential challenges at the workplace and be able to address them properly.
Fruitas is committed to welcome all applicants and hire more differently-abled employees in the coming years.
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Fruitas Holdings Inc. is the leading group in the food cart industry in the Philippines. Since its first stall opened in 2002, the group now has over 800 stores all over the country and over 20 brands in its portfolio, which includes well-loved food concepts Fruitas fresh from Babot’s Farm, Fruitas Ice Candy, Black Pearl, Buko Loco, Juice Avenue, Friends Fries, the Mango Farm, Halo Halo Islands, Johnn Lemon, Shou Hand Pulled Noodles, Cindy’s Candy Cloud and Fancie.
For more information, you may visit: http://fruitasholdings.com/.