Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2021. 8:02 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: On Thursday January 21st, 2021, the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Jose Mai is scheduled to visit the milk processing plant at Western Dairies in Spanish Lookout. He will be accompanied by his Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr Servulo Baeza, Technical Officer, Digno Polanco and senior staff from both the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and the Permitting section of the Supplies Control unit. Minister Mai’s arrival is scheduled for 10 am on Thursday, January 21st and he will be met by a team of Western Dairies board and management as well as the media.
The tour is set to be both a factory and a field visit. It will commence at the Western Dairies plant where the receiving, processing and packaging of fresh milk, cheese, yogurt and sour cream will be showcased by the Western Dairies team. The tour will end with a visit to the dairy farm which is in close proximity to Western Dairies headquarters.
There will also be a special segment of the visit where the media will have the opportunity to ask the Agriculture Minister pressing questions in regards to the Ministry of Agriculture’s new policy on the importation of Lala milk and cheddar, mozzarella and marble cheese. The Breaking Belize News team will be on the ground providing accurate and timely coverage of this event.
In early January, dairy farmers in the Cayo District were requested to cut their milk production by 20% due to the large stock of milk and cheese that were imported and stockpiled by uncaring importers. This is a loss of over 200,000 lbs of milk over a two month period and represents a processed value of over $300,000. The unscrupulous importation of these heavily subsidized products that pay little or no taxes in Belize is hurting Belize’s young dairy industry and causing a serious strain on already limited foreign exchange.
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