Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2022. 9:32 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias:
Quality Feed Mill (QFM) had a ground-breaking ceremony for an $8 million soybean oil refinery, the Quality Vegetable Oil Refinery, today in Spanish Lookout. QFM said the refinery should start operations by the end of the year.
Quality Poultry Products acquired Quality Feed Mill in 2004, starting with soybean processing in March 2016. The company added a soybean oil press in 2017 and is now converting its dream of a soybean oil refinery into reality with Wednesday’s groundbreaking for an $8 million facility.
“With this project we want to supply fresh cooking oil to every Belizean and work toward export of the same high quality cooking oil,” said QFM manager Levi Braun.
“Approximately half a million dollars will be invested in laboratory equipment ensuring a safe, high-quality product that will be economical to the Belizean consumer.”
Prime Minister John Briceño said that the investments being made by the Spanish Lookout shows that they are committed not only to their community but also to the country of Belize.
“They felt now that it is important to go to the next step, making an $8 million investment in this area, putting up a factory. So they’re going to take that oil and further process it into cooking oil,” said Prime Minister Briceño who was present for the groundbreaking.
“That is part of Plan Belize when we say we’re going to support not only agriculture but agro processing. This is agro processing in action,” he added.
Soybean meal is used for chicken feed production, but its byproduct is oil and Quality Feed Mill is now investing into converting it into cooking oil.
At present QFM produces over 800,000 litres of soybean oil on an annual basis to the point that QFM was selling its oil at a loss. That made them invest into vegetable oil production.
According to QFM, Belize is importing 5.7 million litres of vegetable oil annually to the tune of US$12 million. The company said their plant can produce 3.5 million and will save US $7.5 from leaving the country and will also allow for the planting of 30,000 acres.
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