Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2022. 9:10 am CST.
Photo Credit: GOB Press Office
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Last week representatives from the Ministry of Investment toured three agro-processing facilities in southern Belize, namely TexBel Processors Limited, BelEuro Aquaculture, Copal Tree Distillery in Southern Belize.
The Government of Belize Press Office said the Ministry of Investment team first stopped at TexBel Processors Limited in Maya Centre Village, Stann Creek District.
The company, whose owners are based in Texas, is managed by Belizeans. Texbel, consisting of four farms in the Stann Creek and Cayo districts, produces whole limes, bottled coconut water, lime juice, orange juice, watermelon juice, and juice blends.
“TexBel Processors Limited is currently in the process of conversion to organic certification and, using a biomass recycling approach, the company hopes to eliminate the use of agrochemicals and mineral fertilizers” said the Press Office.
The company has also introduced new technology to extend the refrigerated shelf life of its foods and natural drinks and is investing in certifying its value-added products as organic.
TexBel has been exporting to the United States and have now expanded to Europe. The company employs and trains 70 factory and farm workers but “needs many more machinists, mechanics, welders, electronic machinery programmers, and operators of high-technology food processing machines”.
The Investment Ministry team then visited BelEuro Aquaculture Limited, a shrimp farm near Independence and Bella Vista villages in southern Stann Creek.
“Despite being affected by vibriosis, like all the other shrimp farms since 2015, the company has largely been able to withstand both the pathogenic challenges to shrimp production and the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the GOB Press Office.
BelEuro Aquaculture Limited is owned by Rainforest Seafoods Limited, which is the Caribbean’s largest processor and supplier of premium quality seafood and other frozen products, said the Press Office.
Headquartered in Jamaica, Rainforest Seafoods has invested heavily in BelEuro to manage the bacteria that has been affecting the shrimp industry.
Locally, BelEuro is a primary supplier of post larvae to other shrimp farms in the country.
The third and final stop by the Investment team took them to the Copal Tree Distillery in Toledo, the only processor of organic rum in Belize.
According to the Press Office, Copal Tree Distillery produces both white and gold rums “made from organic heirloom sugarcane sourced from a nearby farm. The farm is owned by a sister company that produces organic red and black sugarcane.”
The company employs 40 people when in full production.
Last year Copal Tree produced 40,000 proof gallons of rum. It is expected that this year production will increase to 53,000 proof gallons.
Their products are exported to the United States and the European Union under an organic certification that is recognized in both markets, said the GOB Press Office.
The future looks promising as Copal Tree Distillery recently increased its warehouse space to store more rum for export.
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