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Jul 1, 2021

Shipyard Now Certified to Export Cattle to Mexico

The formal exportation of cattle to the Mexican market was further realised today when the process of transporting hundreds of head of cattle to that neighbouring country began. The Mexican government is now accepting livestock from Shipyard, which will now serve as a hub for its exportation. It’s an initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture to penetrate and expand the market opportunities for livestock cattle producers in Belize. News Five’s Duane Moody travelled to Shipyard early this morning as this Mennonite community joins another from Blue Creek who has also been certified to export to Mexico.


Duane Moody, Reporting

During the course of today and Friday, some four hundred and thirty-nine heads of cattle from Shipyard and the Blue Creek villages will be loaded onto four trucks and exported to Mexico. It is a huge step in the exportation of livestock in the north because it is a multimillion-dollar industry that contributes to the country’s G.D.P.


Jose Abelardo Mai

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture

“Livestock is second to sugar industry in this country, with a hundred and ninety thousand head of cattle with more than four thousand five hundred farmers, sixty percent of them being small farmers. Cattle industry is important to the economy so we saw this need to assign Mr. Esquivel to do livestock only, to develop the plan to move forward.”


SuKarne, a Mexican multinational corporation based in Culiacán, Mexico, operates in the food protein industry and exports the largest percentage of beef, pork and chicken to the U.S. and Canadian markets. Shipyard’s livestock quality is just want they want and so this marks the beginning of Belizean farmers supplying the company and by extension those markets.


Jose Abelardo Mai

“The last shipment we sold proved that we have excellent quality beef, at least of this genetic quality. The average daily gain after they took the animals to Mexico and gave them their ration – they put them in feed lots – was about four pounds per day which meets the criteria for the cattle to be qualified as good. The quality I understand is also of excellent quality and they are convinced that our beef can enter the U.S. and the Canadian markets. If that happens, precedence is set and it will be easier for us to market our Belizean beef in both of these countries. So it is a great step in the right direction for Belizean beef.”


Pedro Julio Jauegui Ortiz

Pedro Julio Jauegui Ortiz, Southeast Head Cattle Buyer, SuKarne [Translated]

“They are innovating, they are very concerned about having meat breeds and adopting techniques that really provide nutritional value and the cattle are in very good condition. The cattle, at the first purchase, we saw mainly crosses with something very rustic. When it was time for them to feed, most of them did not cost a lot of work to adapt it and it gave a very good weight gain. So that has given us the guideline to continue having the relationship with Belizean producers. Right now the truth is that what we have to work a little better in terms of the procedures that have been established between all the main actors of this trade.”


But for this to happen, John Wall had to invest around three hundred thousand dollars into establishing a corral that meets the specific standards required by the Mexican company as well as to ensure that the livestock is fully vaccinated and ready for export. That’s where the Belize Agriculture Health Authority comes in to ensure that there is compliance.


Joe Myers

Joe Myers, Veterinarian, Northern Zone, BAHA

“There were two major certifications that had to be done. The initial one was inspecting and certifying the quarantine farm. That is on BAHA and we provided protocols and guidelines for the farmer; came and make the recommendation and he was very compliant and that was straightforward. Secondly, the other task was certifying the corral, being an inspection corral which was SENASICA’s domain. So we complied with their requirements and submitted the information to SENASICA for their approval. Fortunately or expectedly, it was approved.”


Belarmino Esquivel

Belarmino Esquivel, Director of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture

“We have done previously some exports from Blue Creek and now we are doing it for Shipyard Cattle Producers. And as of now, only the Orange Walk District is being recognised by SENASICA and the Government of Mexico as potential exporters. But we have provided the necessary documentation for the whole country to be recognised free of tuberculosis, ambersilosis and as a national country for them to be able to export to Mexico.”


A number of cattle were rejected for minor non-compliance; those include a few which were pregnant or because of the branding not healing properly, they were not accepted. That aside, Chairman of the Shipyard Cattle Committee Pedro Harms says the impact of this new trade agreement will be great for the country.


Pedro Harms

Pedro Harms, Chairman, Shipyard Cattle Committee

“It definitely will bring finance into our community and it will encourage farmers to grow and extend their herds. So I guess that’s why it is a very positive move for the community and also for the country because we believe that since this site is inspected and approved, it is not only for Shipyard now. We will buy from around the community to also export.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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