CGA HOLDS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
July 27, 2010

The Citrus Growers Association of Belize held its forty second Annual General Meeting on Saturday. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the CGA, Henry Anderson, the meeting was well attended and looked at the affairs of the organization for the period spanning October 2008 to September 2009.

Henry Anderson; Chief Executive Officer, Citrus Growers Association
“In terms of turn out we had approximately two hundred members which is the largest turn out of members in recent memory; for many years. The time period for this meeting was from October 2008 to September 30, 2009 so we were looking at the performance of the CGA.”

Patrick Jones, Reporter
What was the performance or how did the CGA perform in the twelve months that were under review?

Henry Anderson
“The performance improved with respect to the previous year. The previous year the CGA experienced a deficit of $2.9 million. For that period the deficit was down to $800 thousand so it is a work in progress.”

During the course of Saturday’s Annual General Meeting, the nine member board of directors, also known as the Committee of Management, held elections to fill vacancies that came up. Anderson explains.

Henry Anderson
“This year the three members whose term expired were Mr. Charles Wood, Mr. Antonio Zabaneh and Mr. Wilmott Flowers. Two of the three opted to offer up themselves to run again, that was Mr. Charles Woods and Mr. Antonio Zabaneh. Mr. Simmons for professional reasons opted not to serve again. There was a slate of six individuals who I just mentioned including Ms. Norvia Jaime, Mr. Gerald Sharp, Mr. Mario Cho and Mr. Antonio Bolon.”

The new member elected to serve on the Committee of Management is Norvia Jaime. She joins re-elected directors Charles Woods and Antonio Zabaneh. Other members of the Committee are John Bryon Bowman, Eccleston Irving, Denzil Jenkins, Duncan McPherson, Richard Pollack and Rosella Zabaneh. Elected to serve as chairman of the Committee of Management is Charles Woods and he is being assisted by Eccleston Irving as Vice Chairman. CEO Andersons says that the growers gave the new Committee a specific mandate going forward.

Henry Anderson
“The Growers passed two resolutions at the AGM. One resolution to deal with the issue at Banks Holdings Limited essentially empowering the Committee of Management to work with Banks Holdings Limited to get material changes to the investment agreement and if Banks Holdings does not want to explore that possibility we will then look at buying out shares from Banks Holdings. That was one resolution that was passed. The other resolution had to look at exploring the possibility of working with the government and the other relevant parties to see if there are any hopes of getting the Commerce Bight Port going again in an effort to cut the shipping expenses and delivery times and stuff like that for products being exported.”

Patrick Jones, Reporter
It would appear as if though things look to be on the road to smooth sailing in the citrus industry again.

Henry Anderson
“We have to; this industry is a very major industry. The major issue we have in front of us is this investment agreement and the relationship with Banks Holdings Limited. I can share with you that on July 2 our shareholder level; members from Investors Company Limited met with parties from Banks Holdings Limited to discuss a way forward with CPBL. You know on April 22 the CGA were successful in getting five members on the board of CPBL but since then there has yet to be a board meeting because banks holdings has some reservations on some issues. We are trying to work around that. What the growers are saying is listen a lot of time has passed so let’s try to see if they are willing to work with us and if they are not let’s just buy back our shares and move on. This is the national industry for Belize and we can’t be fooling around with it. CPBL has lost a lot of money last year, losing money again this year and we don’t have time to waste.”

Patrick Jones, Reporter
So basically this is one of the things that Mr. Woods and the management Committee will be looking to get resolved?

Henry Anderson
“Yes Patrick this is one of these things. If you look at it, it is a reaffirmation of the work being done by the management committee that was in place last year which except for one person it is essentially the same.”

Anderson says that while there is much work that lays head, the Committee of Management us up to the challenge.

Henry Anderson
“On behalf of the Committee of Management we would like to welcome the new director to the board, Ms. Norvia Jaime. We would also like to thank all the growers for coming out. As I said this was the largest amount of growers who have come out in many years and we hope to see that number grow. We would also like to thank our sponsors who supported the CGA in terms of making our annual report a success and in terms of providing prises for growers at the meeting. We look forward to a very hard year of work. There are big issues that we have to deal with but we are up to the challenge.”

http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=12396
_________________________
Live and let live