The Citrus Growers Association (CGA) confirmed this afternoon that ongoing inclement weather in the South, along with forecasted poor weather for this weekend, has led it to postpone its planned meeting with growers for tomorrow, Saturday, at the Association’s headquarters on the Stann Creek Valley Road.
The meeting has been rescheduled for next week Saturday, at which time growers will discuss the way forward in the latest stand-off with producers Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL) and its part-co-owner, Banks Holdings of Barbados.
According to the CGA, the company has been unable to pay growers for their orange and grapefruit deliveries to the Pomona Valley factories because it has been owed, for at least seven months now, some $11 million by customers of its citrus juice products.
At the 2012 Annual General Meeting of CPBL, the company’s directors unanimously voted to change their auditor, but now Banks Holdings has gone back on that unanimous decision and is insisting that former auditors PKF Belize be kept on.
This means that the commercial banks with which CPBL does business are preventing them from accessing finance to pay the growers. Crop started in October and for at least the last two weeks the CGA’s Committee of Management has been unable to confirm with the citrus producer when it will be paying growers for their deliveries.