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Nov 28, 2011

Citrus Growers U.S. $2.5 Million to soon be paid

And if you think institutional hiccups and misunderstandings are prevalent only in sports, then think again. Growers of the well-established citrus industry are still waiting to collect two and a half million dollars in payment from Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL). Disagreements between the Citrus Growers Association and the CPBL have been extensively broadcasted, and some industry insiders suggest that that the delay is just another symptom of the ongoing battle between the CGA and its investment partner, Banks Holdings of Barbados. News Five spoke via phone to CPBL’s C.E.O. Henry Canton who says that there will not be any further delays and payments should be transferred soon.

Via Phone: Henry Canton, C.E.O., Citrus Products of Belize

“The documents were returned to the company on Wednesday; I took them up to the lawyers. When we went through the documents, we found out that the documents were not complete. Therefore, they were completed on Thursday with the proper signatures and seals. The documents were today taken up to Belmopan to be registered. There were a few little problems there. We now have those rectified so the documents should go up to Belmopan first thing in the morning and be registered. We have submitted the letters to the bank to draw down and we’ve completed all the documentation as required. So we are hoping that by Wednesday we would be able to make up the payments for the growers that we did not pay on Friday. And then continue as normal with payments the following Friday for fruit delivered this week.”

Jose Sanchez

Henry Canton

“How much of the million plus is still outstanding?”

Via Phone: Henry Canton

“I think it is about two and a half million US dollars.”

Jose Sanchez

“And since these documents are signed now, will this issue reoccur again or is it something that will…?”

Via Phone: Henry Canton

“No, it should not reoccur again. This last signatures of documentation that we have would allow us what we call working capital of about six million dollars which fluctuates along with stocks and receivables. So we should not run in this cash flow problem again. This provides adequate funding if all goes as we have planned. I think that we’ve been beating this thing to death. I just wish that instead of us twisting the truth sometimes to benefit ourselves, that we all speak the truth so that the Belizean people would understand the problem a little better. And realize that there is a problem and what the problem is and that we can put behind us all what I consider as unnecessary foolishness. There is money to be made this year and that is what we should be working on.”

The Citrus Growers Association sent out its own release today saying that CPBL allegedly had approximately twelve point five million dollars in receivables at the end of September of which some two point five million dollars were more than four months past due.  Collection, in the CGA’s opinion, could have been used to pay growers for fruits delivered to CPBL.

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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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