Western Dairies held an official inauguration of a UHT factory in Spanish Lookout, Cayo District. The investment comes at a cost of two point three million dollars. The construction of the new dairy processing plant was long in the making but became even more urgent when the government was forced to halt the importation of dairy due to an oversaturation of locally produced milk and cheese on the market. Fast forward from early 2021, and the shelf life of these dairy products will be expanded due to the new Ultra-High Temperature factory. Prime Minister John Briceno was at the official opening and spoke on the importance of this facility to the agriculture industry.
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “It’s quite exciting that this is happening. If you can remember during the pandemic the people here at Spanish Lookout and the farmers, the cattle ranchers in Spanish Lookout had to be throwing away their cow milk because there was simply no market and the consistently people were complaining that the milk has a very limited shelf life I think it’s probably about three maybe five days so now by using the UHT process the shelf life can go as long as probably as much as three months so it’s a game changer. It’s a game changer for Belize, a game changer for a cattle ranchers, a game changer for Spanish Lookout and so we’re excited about the prospects. It’s not a matter of being a monopoly you could only have maybe one or two factories in the entire country because the market is so small. This Western Dairies facility is going to be enough for the market for the entire country and probably even for the export market they are already talking about exporting to CARICOM. What is important is that it will also allow our small cattle ranchers in other villages around here that they also can sell their milk to Western Dairies and to me that is what creates the opportunity and is government we have that responsibility to ensure that we can support investments like this so by extension our small farmers also can benefit.”