Orange Pound Solids Arbitration
The Citrus Control Board received and approved the recommendations made by Mr. Lennox Neal regarding the shortfall of 822,599 orange pound solids between CPBL and the Pound Solid Labs for the 2008/09 crop year. The CGA views the findings and recommendations highlighted in the report as important steps forward that will improve the competitiveness of our citrus industry and strengthen the level of transparency, accountability and good governance.
As you will see from reading the report, the arbitrator concluded that given the wording of the current price formula, CPBL was legally within its right to deduct the advance payments it had made due to the shortfall at the end of the year. However, the arbitrator urged CPBL to make a goodwill gesture to growers because this issue could have been better handled. CPBL offered $0.10 per box based on 2009-2010 orange crop and CGA accepted on behalf of growers. While the exact reason for the difference in orange pound solids between CPBL and the Pound Solid Lab (PSL) is yet to be determined he has recommended a technical audit of both the Belize Food Product and Citrus Company of Belize factories. The arbitrator highlighted that the trend of
reducing yield of the factories vs. the Pound Solids Lab should have been corrected and not left persist over the years to the point where the factories are now below labs. He concluded that the Pound Solids Labs were not the cause of this variance.
The following recommendations represent a giant step for improving the competitiveness and transparency in our industry for years to come:
Recommendations for Processing Operations:
• Commission an independent Technical Audit of The Citrus Company of Belize Limited and Belize Food Products Limited factories that will be conducted during the 2010/2011 crop year.
• Revise the existing fruit delivery protocol to minimize the possibility of fraud. This should include the installation of photographic equipment to record all fruit weighing and fruit offioading transactions.
• Revise the existing fruit scale calibration procedures to include calibrating at a minimum of 80% of the expected maximum gross weight, formal re-calibration of truck scales a minimum of four (4) times per crop year, and daily recorded tests weight checks.
For the file Orange Pound Solids Arbitration Release click here.
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