The Citrus Growers Association (CGA) delivered its first shipment of pineapples for this year to be processed by the Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL). 250,000 pounds of the fruit will be shipped to them for processing between today and tomorrow. This is only the start for CPBL to advance their facilities to be able to process tropical fruits aside from citrus. This is an initiative that has been in the works for some time, as explained by the Chief Administration Manager of CPBL, Nikita Usher. He stated that they have also started to work with soursop, and in a year, they are planning to incorporate more fruits. This will in turn encourage more domestic exports.
Nikita Usher, Chief Administration Manager, Citrus Products of Belize Limited: “Soursop will start to be processing, as a matter of fact one side of the machinery is already in country we did some trial runs already with those. We should be doing mass processing of that later this year that would be around the last quarter of this year between the October to December period. All of these products that we’re doing already have a marketplace there’s a home for them already it’s not something that we have to go and reinvent any wheels so these already have a market that we can export into and we’re satisfying all the requirements of the customers demand in terms of certification, in terms of quality specs all the rest of it we’re meeting those specifications so we have a product that is made for that market already. From the export side what that does for us is to allow for more products to be coming out of Belize. We have the land in Belize we can grow and therefore we can translate that into delivering to our CARICOM brothers or any other market place and we can then convert that into revenues back into country so it does help a lot, it keeps employment going.”
The shipment joins one made by CPBL earlier this year of 500,000 pounds. This brings the total count to 750,000 pounds for the first half of the year, which is 250,000 more than what is usually produced.