Happy new year to you all. I hope you celebrated the start of 2018 in good spirits with family and friends. Now that January 1st has come, it’s good to look ahead and think about what this year may bring us. But first, a quick look back.
2017 was quite a year for all of us at The Basket Is Full, Inc., PUR JAVA, PUR AVA, PUR KERNELS BRANDS. We’ve been through many developments, in sometimes less than favorable circumstances. But we’ve also achieved an enormous amount as we expanded our employees and customer's bases to many new states and countries. Within our corporate budget, we have made good progress: preparations for our Coffee for College Program (CFC), reducing facility cost, learning from feedback that we received from our customers through 2017, and most importantly, increasing our shareholder's values. In December of 2017, we launched our new strategy and carefully executed on it on December 20, 2017. Of course, there’s still a lot of work ahead. It’s no secret that markets did not play along, and given this, we have implemented extended time horizons to bring our PUR AVA and PUR KERNEL BRANDS to the market.
In 2017 we took significant steps to de-risk and strengthened our balance sheet, we increased our financial buffers, we remained debt for by listening to our stockholder's concerns and reduced our risk profile. These steps also resulted in a reduction in employment over the next couple of weeks. I am aware that it has had an impact not only on those directly affected but also on their colleagues. I regret that this was an unavoidable decision.
All these measures are of course not without cost. De-risking, coupled with remaining debt free as an early developing Natural Food Processing Plant, has put pressure on income for both our Facility Operations and Demo Research Teams. While we have initiated steps to reduce expenses, we are also confronted with headwinds including higher importing fee's, and delays in raw materials, and retooling of our Lincoln, Nebraska Plant. In short, the current circumstances are all quite challenging to work in on a daily basis. But no matter what the conditions are, we must not lose sight of our priority: to be a reliable and financially sustainable company that put our customers at the heart of everything we do. Showing our customers how we can support them in their financial needs when it time for their children to head off to college. By expanding our natural food product lines to more store shelves, we can keep more families healthier and as we give them foods that aid in their bodies functioning longer.
It’s important for us to use our time wisely and move forward as decisively and swiftly as we can in 2018. That will only be possible with your continued dedication and teamwork of all of our managers, stockholders, and customers. We need to continue to work together to create a successful standalone business that is truly partnering with families within the communities we serve.
The past few years have had a significant impact on all of us, but I would like to thank you all for your considerable support and dedication during these challenging times. The year ahead will bring its challenges but I’m sure by working together, keeping focused on our priorities and putting our customers, employee's, and stockholders first we can realize our ambitions. These will undoubtedly continue to be my priorities, and I am convinced, I can count on you to do the same.
Jonathan Primo Fuego Galicia
President and CEO
The Basket Is Full, Inc.
Food Processing Plant