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Nov 25, 2016

Ham for Christmas – Importers Working with BAHA and Standards Bureau

Tracy Panton

Several weeks ago, we reported the news of local producers being up in arms after a Chinese businessman was given permit to import over fifty thousand pounds of ham for the Christmas. We were unable to reach the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Agriculture for comment on the incident back then, but today, we asked Minister of State for Trade and Commerce, Tracy Panton about the reports. The Belize Bureau of Standards, which falls within her ministry, would make recommendations to the Belize Agricultural Health Authority who would then issue permits to the importers. But according to Panton, the amount of hams imported is dependent on the local production and if the demand locally is not enough, then the deficit is imported.

 

Tracy Panton, Minister of State, Economic Development, Investment, Trade & Commerce

“We have not been asked to intervene in any issue related to hams coming into Belize. I believe that BAHA may be the competent authority that is dealing with that matter.”

 

Reporter

“Are you working on, or are you assisting any constituent or other type of person who may be seeking to import ham for Christmas?”

 

Tracy Panton

“Every year, there are a number of importers who send in request for the importation of ham. That list is reviewed both by the Belize Bureau of Standards that falls in our ministry and also the final say comes out of BAHA. So we put the recommendations together, we send them to BAHA and then those approvals are issued. There are a number of importers in my constituency that have already received permits to bring in hams for Christmas so we should all have a good one I hope.”

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