Pepe Fanjul, Jr. and Family Recognized for Vital Contributions to Glades-Area Agriculture and Communities


Pepe Fanjul, Jr. and his family have been recognized by the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau as the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) 2016 Farm Family of the Year. The award was presented on November 9 by John L. Hundley, Chairman of the Board of the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, at Ray’s Heritage Packing House in Belle Glade.

The award is given to farm families who exhibit excellence in their commitment to agriculture and civic engagement in the Glades region of western Palm Beach County, where the Fanjul family has been farming since 1960.

The family’s companies, Fanjul Corp. and Florida Crystals Corporation, produce sugarcane, rice and sweetcorn, and they are a longtime source of support for families in the Glades communities. The Everglades Agricultural Area is among the world’s most productive and sustainable agricultural basins. In addition to providing thousands of jobs for EAA farmers, the Fanjul family has been an integral part of the Glades community for decades through their charitable support, particularly their efforts to improve access to high-quality education and to reduce hunger.

“The Fanjul family is one of the premier Florida farming families,” said Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who attended the award ceremony. “They have a wonderful story. They came over here. They started over. They grow millions and millions of pounds of food that service or help people all across our country and they deserve recognition.”

The Fanjuls founded New Hope Charities, a grassroots nonprofit that provides services for children and families in western Palm Beach County ranging from daycare and health care to food distribution. The Fanjul family also founded two charter schools in Pahokee, Everglades Preparatory Academy and Glades Academy, to increase educational opportunities for families in the Glades.

“We’re really humbled,” said Andres Fanjul upon receiving the award, echoing the sentiments of the rest of the Fanjul family. “It’s an incredible opportunity. When I read all the families that have won this award in the past, it’s an honor to be included as part of that group.”

Pepe Fanjul, Jr. and Florida Crystals Continue to “Do the Write Thing” for Palm Beach County’s Youth

Pepe Fanjul, Jr. and Lourdes Fanjul with Quinton Williams
Pepe Fanjul, Jr. and Lourdes Fanjul with Quinton Williams, one of Palm Beach County’s 2016 “Do the Write Thing” ambassadors

Executive Vice President of Florida Crystals Corporation Pepe Fanjul, Jr. has long taken a stand against youth violence. For the 10th straight year, he and his West Palm Beach-based company are sponsoring Do the Write Thing of Palm Beach County. The program is part of the National Campaign to Stop Violence – a non-profit dedicated to helping middle school students make a lasting commitment to end violence in their homes and communities.

“Violence is so prevalent in our society, and with teens it’s so unnecessary,” said Fanjul. “[Do the Write Thing] creates awareness of the problems that teens face today and offers a solution for it. It is making a difference in our community.”

Through the program’s primary initiative, the “Do the Write Thing Challenge,” middle school students are encouraged to take responsibility to prevent violence around them. This year, more than 28,000 students from more than 30 schools in Palm Beach County submitted essays and poems about their experiences with teen violence and bullying as well as their proposed solutions to ending them. More than 300 students were honored for their writing at the Palm Beach Convention Center on May 10. The top two entrants, Kirsten Brown and Quinton Williams, were selected as the County’s 2016 Ambassadors.

The Fanjul family and Florida Crystals have underwritten the costs of the program’s annual Recognition Luncheon in Washington, D.C., where Brown and Williams will have the opportunity to discuss solutions for ending teen violence with other Ambassadors from across the country as well as members of U.S. Congress, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Education. Florida Crystals is also covering travel expenses for Brown, Williams and their parents and teachers to participate in other Do the Write Thing events throughout the week in Washington as part of the campaign’s National Recognition Week.

“We’re thankful to everyone and especially to Florida Crystals for their support,” said Bill Bone, Palm Beach County Chairman of Do the Write Thing. “Without them, there would be no challenge.”

Visit to learn more about the National Campaign to Stop Youth Violence and the “Do the Write Thing Challenge.”

Do The Write Thing Challenge Awards Luncheon
The “Do The Write Thing” Challenge Awards Luncheon, held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, honored more than 300 students who participated in the Challenge.

Pepe Fanjul Jr.: Credit Recovery Courses

High school students in Western Palm Beach County Florida have an advocate in Pepe Fanjul Jr. Education is the key that unlocks doors of opportunity in life.  The entire Fanjul family believes in offering educational opportunities to children in western Florida through the Everglades Preparatory Academy, which was established by Emilia Fanjul.  During the summer months, the Q81 Foundation conducts a summer enrichment program to offer computer-based credit recovery courses.  Lost ground during the academic year can be regained to prevent leaving the students behind each year.  Mastering skills can be achieved in a setting where additional effort is recognized and rewarded.

Each day, qualified instructors monitor the classroom-based curriculum in the morning.  Guest speakers are invited to enhance the learning opportunities, which include the involvement of local agency services and field trips around the state of Florida.  Pepe Fanjul Jr. has observed the progress of this program for the last three summers and is very pleased with the success of the children.  Students have the opportunity to improve grades and in some cases, regain eligibility to play fall sports.  Breakfast and lunch are provided each day to allow the students to focus on learning.

Pepe Fanjul Jr. believes this program is shaping future leaders.  Offering this program provides guidance that will be invaluable to the participants.  Improvement of schools grades comes through developing each student’s interest in learning.  In the following academic year, previous participants have sustained their learning progress to maintain pace with their peers.  The rewards for offering the program have many facets, such as appreciation for the adults who give up time in their summer.  Many organizations work together to make the program possible.  Working together, students will have the opportunity to change course and seize every chance to learn more and find a positive pathway through life.

Pepe Fanjul Jr. Has an Intricate Roll in the Everglades Restoration

Pepe Fanjul, Jr., executive vice president of Florida Crystals Corporation, joined other farmers from the Everglades Agricultural Area, Gov. Rick Scott, members of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, South Florida Water Management District and environmental groups including the Everglades Foundation and Audubon Florida to celebrate the governor’s signing of historic Everglades restoration legislation.  The Everglades restoration bill reflects an agreement by farmers, policymakers, and environmental advocates. The measure enjoyed unanimous passage in both the Florida House and Senate.

“Florida Crystals is delighted to be a part of this great event and seeing everyone here together, praising this great piece of legislation shows we are all moving in the right direction for the Everglades,” said Pepe Fanjul, Jr. “This was truly a bipartisan effort and one we greatly support.”

Pepe Fanjul, Jr. is proud of the role Florida Crystals and other Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) farmers have played in Everglades restoration for more than two decades. Farmers’ high tech, on-farm Best Management Practices (BMPs) are recognized in the legislation for their success in reducing phosphorus by an average of 55 percent each year for the past 17 years.  EAA farmers have invested $200 million to implement the farming practices that are providing proven results for Florida’s Everglades.  EAA farmers have also contributed a further more than $200 million by paying a special tax that is used to construct Everglades restoration projects.  Farmers are, in fact, the largest private contributors to Everglades restoration.

Besides its role in helping provide water to the Everglades, the farming region known as the Everglades Agricultural Area is also of great importance for food production, especially during the winter months.  The EAA is number one in the nation for the production of winter leaf crops, because of South Florida’s warm climate.  The area is also a top producer of sugar cane, vegetables and sweet corn.  It’s the largest rice-producing region in the Southeast and is strong economic driver for the state.

Pepe Fanjul Jr. says Florida Crystals Corporation is Committed to the Development of an Intermodal Logistics Center in western Palm Beach County.

Florida Crystals Corporation recently announced that the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Palm Beach, which means the two entities will collaborate and share information and resources with the goal of developing an Intermodal Logistics Center.

Pepe Fanjul Jr., who heads the real estate and land management division of Florida Crystals Corporation, said the company has identified a parcel of land that is located between the cities of Belle Glade and South Bay.  The parcel is close to US Highway 27 and is located in an area with an available and eager workforce.

Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay – collectively known as the Tri-cities — have been experiencing record unemployment levels that are three to four times the statewide average. Pepe Fanjul Jr. said his family and the company have been farming sugar cane and producing sugar in the communities for five decades.  Because of the long relationship with the cities and their residents, the company isdedicated to being a stable job provider and helping the rural cities with much-needed economic development opportunities.  It has been estimated that an intermodal logistics center could create roughly 20,000 jobs in the area.  The cities have been vocal advocates of the project.

The completion of the Panama Canal expansion in 2014 will increase trade in South Florida and makes the creation of an intermodal logistics center in the western portion of the county ideal as it will serve as an outlet to quickly alleviate container traffic at the crowded east coast ports.

Florida Crystals Corporation has been strategically planning the intermodal logistics center project for several years and is confident that the project will be developed in the most efficient and sustainable way to provide benefits for the cities, Palm Beach County and South Florida.

Pepe Fanjul Jr. Named to the Board of Directors of the Foundation For Florida’s Future

Pepe Fanjul Jr., executive vice president of Florida Crystals Corporation, has joined the board of directors of the Foundation For Florida’s Future, an organization whose stated goal is to help foster an education system that allows each child to achieve his or her God-given potential and prepares all students to succeed in the 21st Century economy.

The mission of the Foundation, which is led by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who serves as chairman, is to make Florida’s education system a model for the nation.  In order to achieve this, the Foundation advocates for policies to help the state of Florida remain at the head of the national education reform movement.  Working in collaboration with students, parents, educators, business leaders and lawmakers, the Foundation educates about reforms and aids in their adoption by the Legislature.

As governor, Mr. Bush implemented major policies and programs to advance Florida’s education system.  Since leaving office, he has established a national reputation as a leader in education reforms. Lawmakers in more than 15 states have explored implementing policies based on Florida’s education model.

The appointment to the Foundation’s board was a natural fit for Pepe Fanjul Jr.  Among his various duties at the company, Pepe Fanjul Jr. leads Florida Crystals’ community relations and philanthropic activities.  Under his guidance, the company focuses on educational, scholarship and mentoring programs, including annual support of Take Stock in Children, New Hope Charities, charter schools and another Bush family program: Celebration of Reading.

Along with former Governor Jeb Bush, other current board members include Phil Handy, former Lt. Governor Toni Jennings, Susan Pareigis, John Winn, Brian Yablonski, and Zachariah Zachariah.Joining Pepe Fanjul Jr. as new members of the board are Allan Bense, T. Willard Fair, Al Hoffman, Jr., Julia Johnson, Peter Rummell, Linda Taylor and Trey Traviesa.

Pepe Fanjul Jr. Welcomes the Partnership between the Anquan Boldin Foundation and Florida Crystals Corporation to Provide Youth Summer Programs in the Glades Communities

Florida Crystals Corporation and the AnquanBoldin Foundation (Q81 Foundation)announced a new partnership last week that will establish and sponsor a series of summer enrichment activities for students in the Glades communities of Palm Beach County.

“The collaboration with the AnquanBoldin Foundation is an ideal fit within the framework of support Florida Crystals strives to build in the communities,” said Pepe Fanjul Jr., who serves as executive vice president of Florida Crystals Corporation.

Pepe Fanjul Jr
Pepe Fanjul Jr.

The summer activities will be hosted by Everglades Preparatory Academy in Pahokee.  Everglades Prep is a charter high school established by Emilia Fanjul to give parents and students in the Glades communities more options for high school education.  The programs will be offered to students in the Tri-cities — Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay — and will include a two-day sports camp headed by three-time Pro Bowl receiver AnquanBoldin, who is from Pahokee, and other top-name professional athletes from western Palm Beach County.

Florida Crystals has been a member of the Glades communities since 1960 when its first sugar mill, Osceola, was constructed in Pahokee.  The company is now a leading sugar producer and is proud to support the communities that have played a role in the company’s success.

“We are always ready to do our part as a proud member and partner in the community to help its next generation of leaders with their personal growth and development,” Fanjul Jr. added.

The Q81 Foundation was established in the Pahokee area in 2004 by Baltimore Ravens receiverAnquanBoldin to provide quality after-school programming in Pahokee, primarily for kids 13 and up who have very limited resources and support.

Pepe Fanjul, Jr. Leads Sugar Firm’s Public Affairs, Land Management and Investments

Pepe Fanjul Jr. serves as Executive Vice President of Florida Crystals Corporation, a global leader in sugar, based in Palm Beach County, Florida. At the sugar firm, Fanjul heads the state and national governmental affairs efforts, corporate communications, land development and real estate investments.

Pepe Fanjul Jr. is also a vice president of Fanjul Corp., the parent of the Fanjul group of companies, which includes Florida Crystals. Fanjul Corp. is a privately held, diversified agricultural, real estate, luxury resort and power generating company with global operations and holdings in North America, the Caribbean and Europe. Fanjul Corp. owns more than 400,000 acres of land, including the world-renowned 7,000-acre Casa de Campo resort in the Dominican Republic. Fanjul Corp. can produce more than seven million tons of sugar per year and has $5 billion in annual revenues.

  Pepe Fanjul Jr.
Pepe Fanjul Jr. with , Emilia Fanjul and Pepe Fanjul Sr.

Florida Crystals Corporation is a leading cane sugar producer and the United States’ first fully integrated cane sugar company, guiding its sugar from the field to the table. Florida Crystals owns and operates the largest biomass renewable energy facility in North America, which powers the company’s sugar operations as well as tens of thousands of homes. Florida Crystals pioneered organic sugar cane farming in the country and remains the sole producer of certified organic sugar 100 percent made in the USA. The company’s organic sugar is grown, harvested and produced in Florida and is marketed under the Florida Crystals® brand.

Florida Crystals also refines sugar through its subsidiary, American Sugar Refining, Inc. (ASR). ASR is the world’s largest sugar refining company. ASR’s products are sold under the leading brands Domino®, C&H®, Redpath®, and Tate & Lyle®.

Fanjul presently serves as a director of Florida Crystals Corporation, American Sugar Refining, Inc.; Central Romana Corporation; BlueGate Partners, LLC; the Sugar Association and the Florida Sugar Cane League.