Silk Grass Farms: Adapting Zero-Waste Methodologies In Belize

by Tanya McNab

More than 25,000 acres of land, tucked between the foothills of the Maya Mountains and Silk Grass communities in the Stann Creek district, is now a part of an innovative social enterprise, marrying long-term land preservation with agri-business.

Silk Grass Farms Ltd., previously farmed for Glorious Belize coconut products, is now being expanded and rehabilitated under a unique vertically integrated structure. The social venture was recently renamed Silk Grass Farms (SGF) in celebration of the local community and its people.  Less than 15% of the total 25,700 acres of SGF’s land will be farmed. The company will be leaving over 22,000 acres of Belize’s Maya Mountains as a designated wildlife preserve, to be known in the future as the Silk Grass Nature Preserve. To give context to numbers, SGF’s land area is almost 3 times the size of Belize’s entire Placencia Peninsula.

To measure the impact on key objectives, the team at Silk Grass Farms takes a triple bottom line approach. Equal importance is given on serving people and preserving the planet as it does on durable financial viability. Ultimately, SGF aims to sculpt a self-sustaining business structure that puts all farm profits back into maintaining the future Silk Grass Nature Preserve.

The vision is ambitious but achievable.

Social investors from the United States and Denmark, with impressive backgrounds in agriculture, manufacturing, and philanthropy, are adopting regenerative agricultural practices at Silk Grass Farms. Pairing Danish-inspired zero-waste methodologies with Belize’s rich history in land preservation and biodiversity, SGF is set to become a one-of-a-kind model.

Even as the company grows, SGF is committed to keeping a 100% Belizean management team. It will draw talent from Belize’s world-class talent pool with special attention to diversity, equity and inclusion. SGF offers every one of its employees a number of benefits. These include professional development opportunities, continued education support, and employer-sponsored health insurance plans.

Silk Grass Farms’ regenerative and sustainable farming practices will include cultivating a healthy mix of indigenous trees and crops; replenishing the soil with organic matter and nutrients; responsibly capturing, storing and managing clean, freshwater; minimizing waste, and transforming unavoidable waste to alternative uses throughout the farm to promote carbon sequestration.

What to expect?

In the short term, you can expect to see some visual changes in the packaging of coconut oil and coconut water previously sold under the Glorious Belize label.  But don’t worry; consumers can expect the same premium quality and great taste from Silk Grass Farms products. The new packaging will also be upgraded to offer a wider variety of sizes to meet consumer demand.

Within the next year, SGF plans to build a state-of-the-art agri-processing facility. This aims to transform the farm’s harvests into exceptional gourmet fare for specialty markets locally and abroad. As the farm develops over time, consumers can expect to choose from a wide range of Silk Grass Farms products. Products include vegan coconut milk, natural citrus beverages, and other flavorful offerings made with vanilla, cacao, mangos and more.

Stay tuned for updates on Silk Grass Farms as the company transforms its dynamic vision into reality. Follow Silk Grass farms on Facebook to stay up to date as the project progresses.

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