Friday, July 15, 2011

Western Belize Citrus Growers continue battle for hearts and minds of small citrus growers.

Battle for the hearts and minds of the small citrus growers continues between the CGA managing committee and Belize Mutual crowd. At stake is 51% ownership of the citrus factory, millions of dollars in debt loans owed by the CGA small growers, the welfare of the small growers, and the vision of what a "for profit" business should be.

Courtesy of Love FM TV

July 14, 2011

A meeting that was scheduled for Friday on the compound of the Belize Citrus Growers’ Association has been cancelled. The meeting was requested by a group of forty members to discuss matters over which those members have concerns. But today the court ruled against the forum. Love News spoke a short while ago with Chief Executive Officer of the CGA, Henry Anderson about the background to the ruling.

Henry Anderson – CEO, Citrus Growers Association
“We got word from our attorney going on midday that the attorneys for Mr. Dwight Montero, Mr. William Bowman II, San Miguel Ltd, Mullins River Holdings Ltd and Valley Orchards Ltd. apparently went to the court to try and get another injunction on the CGA to essentially allow 40 people who are members of the Belize Citrus Mutual to come to the SGM of the CGA that was supposed to be held tomorrow. Our attorney Mr. Elrington was around the court, got wind of it, I think they were trying to sneak in and do it ex parte without our attorney present, and made representation and when the judge learned of all the particulars of the meeting that was being called and everything else, as I was made to understand, denied their request for the injunction to allow 40 people to come to the meeting and also said that the meeting should be cancelled. You may recall that they have a claim against the CGA right now in the court that will be heard on July 21 and the genesis of that was they came to a meeting on February 26 of the CGA, special general meeting, and they had not paid their fees. The committee of management said you can come to the meeting but please sign the proper paper work and everything to get your fees up to date and they refused to do so although they said they were coming to bring the industry together, they refused to do so. They left and then they took the CGA to court essentially to get a position that they can attend the meetings of the CGA, they should enjoy the services of the CGA but they need not necessarily have to be paying for those things or something along those lines. Essentially I want the members of the CGA to know that the meeting has been cancelled and as we understand it, it has been cancelled because the attorney for Dwight Montero and his fellow claimants went to the court to try to get an injunction to bring 40 people to our meeting that would have been held tomorrow, those 40 people are members of the Belize Citrus Mutual; that was denied and given everything that is before the court, the judge also said that the special general meeting should be cancelled. It is all having to do about trying to get control of the ownership rights that the CGA has in CPBL being the majority shareholder. The case that’s in the court right now, I mentioned Dwight Montero, William Bowman II, San Miguel Ltd, I believe that is a company owned by the Roes, Mullins River Holdings, if you look at the court documents Dr. Canton signs that and if you look at the Valley Orchards Ltd. He signs the documents there to being the matter to the court as the Chairman as well. I can tell you over the week or two weeks leading up to this meeting he has been going out personally holding meetings with growers explaining to growers why he wants them to get rid of this committee of Management. The Committee of Management of the CGA over the past two years on an average I would say every nine weeks would go out to different communities to have meeting with members, to hear from the members, to share information. When we are having a special meeting or annual general meeting coming up they go to discuss so people get a good idea of what the meeting is about so they are informed. The Committee of Management was having meetings like that last week with growers for the meeting that should have been held tomorrow. When we got to Maya Center last Thursday for that meeting when we stepped into that room you had Mr. William Bowman there, Mr. Mike Duncker and Dr. Canton there with what we would call a rent a crowd outside and it seemed to us that the intent was to basically have a back and forth in the meeting but we avoided that. Our Chairman managed the meeting very well and we were able to hold our meeting. In our view it was an attempt to intimidate the Committee of Management and try to push their weight around on the growers.'

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