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Mar 24, 2015

…Says Guyana Rice is Unprocessed

Despite the argument that the local rice industry is self-sustained, over three million pounds of rice was brought into the country from Guyana in 2014.  The importation, according to Rempel, was the result of a shortage attributed to crop failure, and the reason for not seeing packaged product bearing Guyanese brands is simply because the poundage was unprocessed rice.

 

Isani Cayetano

“From what I’m made to understand, a total of three point two million pounds of rice was brought into the country last year alone.  How has this competition affected your business or your part of the local industry?”

 

Via Phone: Stanley Rempel, Managing Director, Circle R Products

“This rice was imported through the Belize Marketing Board.  It was imported because we had a shortage due to a crop failure last year, a year ago, two years ago.  So we did have a bit of a shortage there and for that reason that amount was imported to just cover the deficit that we had, right.”

 

Stanley Rempel

Isani Cayetano

“Yeah.”

 

Via Phone: Stanley Rempel

“And that rice was imported by the Marketing Board and it was sold and distributed countrywide through our distribution network.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Was that import tagged as Guyanese or was the poundage re-bagged either with the local brand?  How did that work?”

 

Via Phone: Stanley Rempel

“It was repackaged into our local brand.  The reason was that it needed further processing, right.  I mean they are claiming now that rice can be brought in from Guyana and retailed at sixty-nine [cents].  I would like to argue that, I mean, it can be landed and maybe wholesaled at sixty-nine [cents] but there is no retail margin in there.  So the rice that was brought in last year it came as loose rice and it wasn’t rice that our market would have accepted as it came in.  It had to be take to the mill and further processed and packaged and bagged, right and then taken out to be distributed.”

 

News Five has attempted to get a comment from the Belize Bureau of Standards in Belmopan but we are informed that Director Jose Trejo is unavailable.

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