Belize is blessed with some of the most fertile land in the world and its location is privileged. Belize gives easy access to the U.S. and Canada, with multiple port facilities, the English language, and legal system, strong proprietary rights, and most importantly, expert Belizean Farmers.
Who is Behind TexBel?
Two Texan gentlemen, Lindsey Short and Alan Arsht decided to start a whole new industry in Belize. They recognized that Belizean soil yields world-class fruits and vegetables, yet there was no export market. TexBel is a new environmentally conscious company set to reshape the tropical fruit beverage industry, offering products of the highest quality and freshness, for global markets.
How Did it Begin?
In 2012, these two friends attended an investment conference about the viability and economics of coconut cultivation. Lindsey Short had been familiar with Belize and was the owner of a family compound in Placencia. His long-time friend, Alan Asht, joined him and they decided to build an agricultural business in Belize centered on the production of coconuts and its by-products, in particular, coconut water. Lindsey had extensive farming and ranching experience, as well as legal skills. Alan had many years of financial experience from many years as a Wall Street Financial Banker. They decided this was a risk worth taking, recognizing the potential and vast business opportunity to start and build a new business in a developing Central American country.
Their initial farm was acquired in 2013 and provided the foundation of the coconut business. In 2014 and 2015, two more farms were established. The most important next step was to recruit local management. With this in place, Local farmers are also trained in agronomic practices. They can then sell their fruit to Texbel and benefit directly from the higher prices for sustainable crops. TexBel now has over 3,000 acres of land planted with a special coconut hybrid, Persian limes, Valencia oranges, and other tropical fruits, including soursop.
Process and Services:
“The Right Fruit Harvested at the Right Time”: this is the vital step to ensure that fruit is processed immediately after harvest. The most modern technology is used from farm to processing plant. This is to guarantee freshness all the way to the consumers’ table. Immature or overly ripe fruit is never used. Only fruit at its peak of natural taste, sweetness, and acidity is processed. Packaging comes in many forms and sizes, both for individual and industrial purposes.
Job Opportunities for Belizeans
At TexBel, farmers come before business. This is the key to implementing ethical agricultural practices. These farmers know the land better than anyone. These Belizean farmers are proud of their Mayan and Spanish heritage and their skill. TexBel wants to make sure that they have everything they need to do their work with the greatest comfort and safety. Since 2013, TexBel has been committed to the Global Gap (Good Agricultural Practices) certification protocol to protect the environment and improve the quality of life of farmers and everyone living in the surrounding communities.
The investment is for the long-haul. The Government of Belize has granted TexBel an EPZ (Export Processing Zone) to produce and export tax-free and duty-free for 20 plus years, which translates into more competitive prices and attractive opportunities for clients. This is a company constantly looking for new ways to become a better corporate citizen.
Written by Nelita Castillo