The Rainforest Seafood Belize Processing Plant was officially opened today in southern Belize. The plant is a CARICOM project that will benefit local fishermen whilst giving a boost to Belize’s export market. Attending the official opening was Agriculture Minister, Godwin Hulse who spoke with Love News.
“There was also the opening of the Rain Forest Seafood Belize processing plant, this is a CARICOM investment, the principals therein are Mr. Brian Jordan who is the Chief Executive Officer. Rainforest is a Caribbean company, we can call it that and what is exciting about this is that they are marketing all products in the Caribbean, in all the islands and they are actually doing Lobster and fin fish and shrimp and the lobsters and fin fish they are buying from fishermen who bring the catch live and they process it and they package it very beautifully, it is packaged and sent to the Caribbean. Things like yellow tail snapper, red tail snapper, whole cooked lobsters, whole live lobster (they get let me say raw because they have cooked and they have raw and they also do lobster tail. It’s a very efficient plant that was open today, the plant has HASSUP certification, extremely sanitary etcetera and this market can only grow so that’s an extremely interesting investment. So far this company has about US$7 million invested in this business and they are doing about 150,000 pounds of combination of fin fish and lobster so far so this is an exciting project because it does incorporate a lot of fishermen who bring their catch there, it is sanitary and of course they get to participate in part of this whole economic process.”
Following the opening of the plant, Minister Hulse met up with shrimp growers where the Early Death Syndrome that had attacked the local shrimp was discussed among other issues. Minister Hulse spoke of those discussions.
“I also had an opportunity to look at some of the shrimp farms, that is bouncing back and after the opening I had a meeting with all of the shrimp growers and it is very exciting in fact that they are pretty much past what was called this early death syndrome that they had and they have done this by reducing the size of their ponds, lining it and draining the water continuously on a daily basis so it’s a pretty large investment, a significant investment because the Farms revisited prior to this were doing about 1200 pounds per acre and they had projected to do as high as 20,000 pounds per acre so even though the ponds are smaller, it’s intensive and the shrimp look really really good. They are poised to begin to export again, in fact Alvin Henderson’s farm should do the first export back into Mexico sometime next week, they are going to have the first trial export and so this is exciting news for the industry. That industry is poised to rebound and they’ve learned a lot of lessons and they’ve been able to work together to overcome this disease and find solutions. BAL is quite also well underway with their production also. The shrimp industry is poised to rebound and I assure them the government will give them the maximum help. We have to give kudos to BAHA who has worked closely with them to try to overcome this disease.”
The Rainforest Seafood Belize Processing Plant is located at Big Creek Port in the Stann Creek District.