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Jun 11, 2018

Citrus Growers Share Experience

One of the accredited organizations at today’s forum is the Citrus Growers Association.  Its Citrus Research and Education Institute’s plant pathology diagnostic lab is the first and only laboratory in Belize to receive ISO one-seventy accreditation for five tests. The CGA’s Henry Anderson shares how this accredited lab is critical not only to the work of the association but also to supporting the citrus industry.

 

Henry Anderson

Henry Anderson, C.E.O., CGA

“The fact that we are accredited, we were able to use that, submit a proposal and got access to two patented HLB tolerant Valencia varieties of citrus. So, we use the Rhode Red Valencia, this one is called the Valquarius Valencia which would come four to eight weeks before the Rhode Red, has better flavor and color, has no seeds so you don’t have to worry about birds. It is a big thing, because what it would mean for the factory if it is adopted over time. It changes the whole economics because you don’t have to be holding high ratio juice from last year to mix with low ratio juice from this year because at fourteen ratio, in Florida, they are getting USDA grade A juice. Right now, we have to be all the way at eighteen ratio – bricks to acid ratio – and that takes well into the season, so it would change the dynamics. The other one is an OLL-8 Valencia which is showing to have high color, good taste and high solids. When you sell flour you sell per pound – so in juice you sell per pound solid. So, in Belize right now we are getting probably five point nine six pound solids per box for oranges and that is giving about seven point two in Florida. It might not do the same thing here because they tend to get a bit higher pound solid but maybe it comes in at six three, six five which changes the dynamics of our industry, It also opens an opportunity for us to maybe serve as the agent into Central America. Why? Belize has a certification program going back to the late nineties. Central America just managed to put in place, and when I say Central America, only the countries, a certification program after we found HLB here and that was done with the support of experts from Belize and Mexico. So, we have an older program, we know what to do, we have the only accredited citrus lab. So, while we are the first for those five tests in Belize, we are also the only one in Central America and the Caribbean with the ISO accreditation. So, you put all of those together along with the exclusive licensed for the patented material and then you talk about your strategy and competitive advantage that is what we call a resource based sustained competitive advantage. What it would mean is that if we put all of these to play, then plant world would be the only licensed propagator of patented HLB tolerant material which is a big key to the future of the industry and also it means that we could move to join venture and to get plant material, not trees necessarily, but plant material into Central America. And the monies that we make from that, all of CGA’s monies or Plant World monies besides paying what we need to pay goes right back into supporting the production of the industry. And the problem in this industry has been production.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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