FOOD SHORTAGE: BELLO concerned about availability of produce

BELLO, the award winning agro-processor and manufacturer, is reporting that it is experiencing shortfalls in the supply of local produce for its products.

The irregular availability of sufficient quantities and quality of pepper, coffee, lime, cocoa and passion fruit etc. is causing the company concern.

Managing Director Michael Fagan says shortages have been a problem for some time but the quantity and quality issues could potentially pose difficulties for the company’s imminent expansion plans.

“Shortages have been a recurring problem. Our original intention was only to supplement local crop by importing. However, we have begun to rely more on imported raw materials in some cases, because the local product has become more and more scarce over the last ten to fifteen years for a variety of reasons including, economic conditions, natural disaster, disease and varietal change,” Fagan says.

The company has taken steps in the past to deal with the problem: harvesting produce from its own farms and employing farm services co-ordinators who would not only assist farmers in growing the required crops, but also help with transportation.

Now, BELLO is promising new conditions and increased prices for farmers who work with the company to ensure that the volumes and quality of produce it needs are met. The company is urging farmers to join BELLO as it seeks to broaden its range and activities.

“We are opening up new markets for our products in Europe and North America and we  want the farmers to be our partners in this process. We need specific varieties, quantities and quality of raw materials grown here in Dominica. Our relationship with our farmers, the quality of the produce they supply and our final product as well as the perception conjured up in foreign minds by our lush green environment is what differentiates us from our competitors and is what will make us all winners,” Fagan says.

The company estimates that it will need as much as 500,000 lbs of passion fruit, 300,000 lbs of lime and 600,000lbs of pepper over the next year.

BELLO currently has sufficient supply of Papaya, but demand will grow as the company broadens its product range. The company also expects to buy more tree crops in future such as sour oranges or guspo, guava, grapefruit, and seasonal varieties of exotic fruit such as West Indian cherry, golden apple and carambola.

Fagan says he is looking forward to the time when farmers are able to produce plentiful amounts of the necessary crops and supply the company fully.

2010/11 ANNUAL ESTIMATED RAW MATERIAL REQUIREMENTS

(BASED ON PROJECTIONS)

ITEMPOUNDAGE
PASSIONFRUIT500,000
YELLOW LIME300,000
ORANGE
GRAPEFRUIT
COCOA10,000
COFFEE – ARABICA35,000
GUAVA30,000
TAMARIND20,000
PEPPER600,000
BAY OIL3,000
GREEN PAWPAW30,000
BREADFRUIT6,000
GREEN PLANTAIN6,000

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32 Comments

  1. October 9, 2010

    I Love all The Love here my people. You are all great bothe negative and positive. Just a point, we are one of the last manufacturing company’s exporting from Dominica that is 100% Dominican owned. Bello is buying produce and investing in your economy to try and make it better for all of us. If you don’t want to be a part of it, that is fine, but please don’t try and make it political and don’t be one of those ultra intelligent individuals that destroy everything before it starts. Ask yourself can I contribute something positive or not. Otherwise, stand aside, smile, and do something positive for your country, by buying local products that are grown in your country, if you want to support us. If not, please don’t try and hold us all back. We need help to try and help ourselves. If we fail you fail. The Dominican Government, and Min. of Trade and Agriculture, whoever they happen to be, are, or should be, our partners, and our biggest asset , and partner is, or should be the Dominican farmer. So we aprreciate the dialogue, but if your not part of the solution, look in the mirror, You are part of the problem! We love you all! Peace!

  2. commentator
    September 30, 2010

    Bello cannot and will not guarantee a market for your produce. That is a concession only granted to a banana farmer.
    The produce that they purchase is seasonal and cannot be staggered in it production. You will always have a glut of a particular produce and that could be a risk to anyone relying on that as an investment.
    If Bello refuse to buy you must have another alternative to market your produce. Bello can at least guarantee the price so that the farmer can both plan and do their marketing maths. When bank want their installment the farmer cannot say that Bello aint buying this month.
    So I fully understand why farmers would be risk averse to this idea and cautious about Bello as a market.
    If Bello want to guarantee the supply for their business then they have to give an assurance that they will pay a set price and guarantee that. If there is a risk that they cannot handle all that may be produced they must say so upfront so the farmers know the risk.
    That is what fair trade is all about.

  3. Mr. Farmer
    September 24, 2010

    Have Mr. Fagan stated the very low prices Bello pays to farmers? When they refuse to sell to him he uses that as justification to import material from overseas? Again, has Bello’s capacity to process stuff increased over the years or is the company still operating on mediocrity? Truly, given my experience with Bello this is really not a news worthy item!

  4. love my country
    September 24, 2010

    bello and the orther i hope that you are and is willing too help the people to produce the crops help in any way if they ask for the help or you to can take it on your own .

  5. MARIGOT
    September 24, 2010

    @LYCAN CASIMIR: WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HELP? ASK YOURSELF THE SAME QUESTION.

  6. September 23, 2010

    The ignorance of our foreparents, even coming close to our mothers and fathers, is the reason the younger generation are not in the same footstep of those who were before them.

    In my young days our adults of my village belittled the young men who wasn’t a teacher, a bank worker, a policeman, a fireman, or any other government worker. They made it very hard for us, who were young girls to even date those young men, because they complained that those young men could not do anything for us.

    With that kind of attitude in the adults about the young men and women of my days, they discouraged young people to follow in their fathers, even our mothers. because vegetable growing was mostly the work of the women, footsteps, for we felt belittled by those kind of attitude. That is what MOUTH TO MOUTH is saying. Our older generation criticized the younger people, making them believe that working the land was an unworthy occupation, so most, or all of them turned away from what their fathers did for a living. If a young woman was not a teacher or a nurse, she stayed home and have children. Lucky for me, I got the teaching job.

    My grandfather had a lot of land and he made a living and raised his children by the means of personal farming–bananas, vegetables, mangoes, ground provisions, citrus fruits, and limes. He was a carpenter in his much younger years. But by the time I left Dominica he was an old man, his sons did not follow after him in working the land; they all took up carpentry instead, and the land was already perishing.

    When I returned to Dominica in 2008, I found all of the land covered with houses–of his children, his grandchildren and their children. Even if there was some unused land it was all covered with useless weed. And my people were buying everything they needed for food from Roseau, as they complained that they never had enough money. The burden is on some of us, their family members, who live overseas; because they do not realize we have to survive as well.

    My Father was the sole bread winner of our family. My mom’s mother spend most of her life growing flowers and vegetables, but my mom took up with the sewing machine. My dad made a living through charcoal processing, shingles, and some farming for men who had land in our village. But my two brothers did not follow his footsteps. One of them is working as a mason, and the other one is working for Whit Church. But those jobs came after all their younger years of unemployment.

    If this example is rampant in Dominica, it is not hard to understand why we would be coming short of food supplies. Because the first generation of farmers are dead long ago; the second generation are old or dead as well, and the third and forth generation never followed in their foot step, much more for the five and six

    We will need strong will power and a stern lecture to help our young men and women understand the importance of having food, before we can turn this around. But there is hope, God can help us to work through this.

  7. STAFFEE
    September 23, 2010

    The day that the banana died, the farmers HOPE died with it too.
    Anything could grow before time without fertilizer. But now not again. Fertilizer is too expensive and some times scarce.
    Gone a the days when farmers use to get their banana inputs! The agriculture sector can be revived if only we have serious people in goverment.

  8. Grand Bayrian
    September 23, 2010

    Bring back slavery, it will solved all the problems; and only then, Dominica will be the breadbasket of the world again.

  9. LYCAN CASIMIR
    September 23, 2010

    @MARIGOT: Is Marigot people planting enough , or you all are to neat to get your hands dirty?

  10. LYCAN CASIMIR
    September 23, 2010

    @but: It never took the government to tell people to plant before, we are too lazy. Bello is playing the …

  11. Piper
    September 23, 2010

    Why does government have to step in to tell people things that are patently obvious? If there is market for something, wouldn’t one think that there would be enough people stepping to the plate to seize that opportunity? Why does it always have to involve govermnent? Little wonder people sit back and cry so much. They always want to be led by someone else.

    We are not children. But then again the governments we have had have treated people like a bunch of children. I guess they don’t know how to act any differntly.

  12. Well Done
    September 23, 2010

    The cost of production in relation to the price they are willing to pay does not translate into a profit!

  13. En Ba La
    September 23, 2010

    @but: I am with you on that but isnt this a Bello article?
    @mouth of the south: has a point. Looking around this is what is happening the farmers and fishermen have all served and moving onto the next life and the younger people are not interested in this. It is true that parents want us to succeed nonetheless those who have not gone to university and are bankers etc are not interested either -lazying around on the square is the best part for them.

    For some reason I believe Bello has not grown from since I was a kid. I have heard very little even less about Bello now than when I was growing up. Just my saying. I may not be listening. yikes!!!

  14. zam
    September 23, 2010

    Where is the PS who said that there was a substantial growth in agriculture- maybe he meant – in Dominica – there is a tremendous growth in the agree culture – not agricultre. Look nwo bello is asking for the produce in order to get food on the market shelves and then seem to be under pressure. Perhaps all the increased in agriculture go to regional markets – lets hope! Imagine whats is going on here in Dominica- massive confusion because one big wig comes in and say – increase and Bello who is on the feild sayin decrease!!11 Talking ole talk never pay! Come clean and the people will agree with you all, please dont insult the intellegence of the populace! Come good or just dont come at all! To many contradictions and so called bright folks talking out of turn- then thay all have to eat humble pie. Decrease ole and foolish talk and increase production!
    This is a digression -but i can’t wait to hear someone come and say to Dominicans- Crime is on a decrease as well! Be responsible en and doh act like u all suffering from first- time- ness

  15. islander
    September 23, 2010

    i guess i will have to go back home to revive the coffee and cocoa that my dad left he use to supply alot to bello

  16. Anonymous
    September 23, 2010

    @Chief: i totally agree. all the mangoes that falling on the ground and so many other fruits and vegetables available here. we don’t need to try to revive bananas, its time to move on to bigger and better things

  17. DA Man
    September 23, 2010

    It is not correct to categorize all Dominicans with a few “Bone Heads” on here who are bent on destroying our Island for political aspirations. We welcome them since we can’t all be the same.

    I do agree that now is the time for the government to step in and mobilize the farmers and other people who express interest in cultivating, give concessions, training, land etc. The Department of Agriculture now needs to make this an Island wide project.

    Please people, Skerrit and the Dominica Labour Party are not the Government. They are members of the government like all other government employees whose responsibilities are to work for the people and Dominica in general.

  18. Piper
    September 23, 2010

    People in DA relying on barrels and handout. They crying about no foreign markets for their produce, Yet there is a ready market right under their nose and they refuse to service it.

    Dominicans all want to plant the same thing. It’s either dasheen, yams or bananas. Why don’t they take the same approach to passionfruit. This fruit is so expensive in my neck of the woods. The last time I saw it at the grocery store, it was like $2.50 for 1.

  19. Chief
    September 23, 2010

    @Well Well: Excellent points 4490229. We need to grow more cash crops and stop trying to revive the banana industry.

  20. Hugo Grotius
    September 23, 2010

    Bello u need to check Save-A-Lot, they have all the produce u need.

  21. redlight district baby
    September 23, 2010

    @mouth of the south: boy u killing me eh,,,,n e way i think wat u sayin is true,,,,,,nice lil poem though

  22. but
    September 23, 2010

    @Lycan: Govt must lead they way firstly,,,why you dont see that your heads arent brilliant if they were that creative the island would not be in the gutters!!

    Its a lack of leadership and Direction!

  23. but
    September 23, 2010

    But one thing….Dominicans have proven to be Brilliant in their thinking they got fooled up
    on Monday at Melville Hall showcase…and they going to build a state house costing ecd27 million

    thats why mean unless ppl dont get to the streets calling the program sending comments on here wont solve anything……YOU NEED BOOTS on the Ground!!

    Its a shame that absoultely everyone remains quiet dont we see the country is dead!!

    Dominicans save the island from this incomptent DLP regime….everything they tried has failed red clinic ,housing revolution etc and still nothing is blooming in the island what are shame!

  24. lasko
    September 23, 2010

    There is no need for BELLO to import what we can produce naturally locally! This is good opportunity for our farmers n also for our country. We need more of our local products to be exported aboard.

  25. mouth of the south
    September 23, 2010

    all our fathers n mothers dying n we d farmers children doh wanna toil d soil,,,,,,no way society tell us dat is not worthy occupation,,,,so we ah gwan get education in finance n economics to walk around with our tie n brief case yes i,,,,indeed dat is why our fathers work hard eh,,,to turn doctor n nurse,,,,so how come allu want wee to go n toil land,,,,,me nah grow up toiling hard,,,, me daddy n mammy tell me dat not fi me to do,,,, so allu want food n provision,,,,well start training allu sons n daughters to toil d soil,,,,,,tables turn now,,,, yes fadda i know u gonna say i foolish but look around where r u sitting,,,,,hhhmmm in air con n seen,,,,so why i cah get air con too,,,,, i bet ur mammy n daddy tell u d same,,,,,,toiling not fi we,,,,now we all fi suffering,,,,,,,well unless ur children toil d soil,,,,,mine nah toiling no damn soil,,,,allu too hypocrite

  26. Anonymous
    September 23, 2010

    What is wrong with us Dominicans? Why do we have to base everything on politics? What a shame.

  27. Well Well
    September 23, 2010

    what we must have noted that since the decline of the banana industry, most of the farmers have abandoned the farm and now employed in the Security business with Kimo Astaphan et al. A few also have left by the back or front door to seek employment, legal or otherwise in other countries. It may be that we are lacking farmers and the few who remain cannot produce sufficiently to meet the demands of Bello and the other manufacturers.

    We need to teach the young that instead of investing in guns, knives and drugs, they should try to earn an honest living by utilizing the natural resource which we have in abundance. That is fertile land. Some islands in the Caribbean wish they had what we have throwing away.

  28. Lycan
    September 23, 2010

    Dominicans need to start planting, stop waiting on the government to do everything for you. What happen, we afraid to plant right now, we afraid our hands get dirty?

    It’s not the government it’s us, all households should get back into planting to produce even a surplus in our country.

  29. Alas
    September 23, 2010

    i doh fink is politics Bello playing, d govt dat lying and saying farmers producing sooo much dat it have an increase in d agri sector. lie lie lie and more liessssss

  30. MARIGOT
    September 23, 2010

    TAKE HEED LESS WE GO HUNGRY IN DOMINICA.” THE NEXT LEVEL” IS HERE .

  31. Bawi boy
    September 23, 2010

    Farmers take advantage. Grow the products. This is a guaranateed market. Keep DA products alive.

  32. following their master like poddles
    September 23, 2010

    Didnt Mr fagan get the statistic circular from government about the increase in production in agriculture because what he saying not in line with what we hearing from our Government. I wonder if we will say is politics Bello playing?

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