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Sep 18, 2006

Citrus growers force review of sales contract

Story PictureCritics of an agreement signed between the Citrus Growers Association and Caribbean Investors scored a minor victory over the weekend when the general membership voted to have the contract reviewed by a sub committee of farmers. According to C.G.A. chairman Ernest Raymond, in addition to distributing copies of the agreement, representatives of Banks Holdings and Blue Waters Limited also made presentations to the growers. But when emotions started to run high, the members agreed to cool thing off by appointing a five man team to reassess the situation.

Ernest Raymond, Chairman, Citrus Growers Association
?By a motion, a special committee consisting of citrus growers were elected to review the document, come up with some recommendations to be presented at another special general meeting for review by the growers.?

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
?In the interim is there a stay on any further agreements between I.C.L., C.P.B.L. and the international partners??

Ernest Raymond
?There was only one agreement and it?s that agreement that is being reviewed.?

Janelle Chanona
?But is there a stay, nothing else is going to happen until those findings??

Ernest Raymond
?The agreement has not been implemented as yet as a matter of fact, next Monday the courts will rule on the restructuring of the company. So it?s part of the process of meeting whatever completion requirements are as it relates to the agreement. But one could say, yes, there?s a stay. But of course it all depends on the review and or recommendations that will come out from this special committee, which we are hopeful, will be in keeping with what the agreement is saying.?

The five man subcommittee is comprised of Victor Quan, Chris Roe, Bill Tillett, Anthony Chanona and Arsenio Burgos. That team will present their findings by October twenty-first. In May the board of the C.G.A. signed a confidential investment agreement with Eastern Caribbean entities Blue Waters Limited and Banks Holdings. But since then more than twenty-five C.G.A. members, who had previous access to the contract, complained that the deal was heavily slanted against local growers. The situation climaxed when those growers put forward a vote of no confidence against the board of directors of the C.G.A. Following the motion for a sub committee to review the agreement, that vote was never taken at Saturday’s meeting.

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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