BELTRAIDE and The Nature Conservancy Sign an MOU

The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), through its EXPORTBelize Unit, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Nature Conservancy, a non-profit organisation based in the USA, which seeks closer collaboration in encouraging a sustainable seaweed aquaculture industry in Belize.


(L-R) Debbie Alfaro : Projects Officer, BELTRAIDE ; Shahera McKoy : Manager, EXPORTBelize, BELTRAIDE;  Alejandro Martinez : Country Representative , Nature Conservancy ; Lejia Melanie Gideon : General Manager , Enterprise and Innovation Division, BELTRAIDE, Julianne Robinson: Nature Conservancy


Under the MOU, BELTRAIDE and The Nature Conservancy will establish a working committee, which in addition to sharing data and information, will work with fishermen, the Coral Caye Ltd. and the Placencia Co-op Society to develop a comprehensive business plan for a sustainable seaweed aquaculture business.


This business plan will include a curriculum that provides information on best-practices that highlight conservation values, facilitates replication, ensures quality assurance and control of seaweed production as well as provide a long-term system to  share lessons across the country and the region.  Best practices will also target maximizing benefits to wild conch and lobster populations and coral reefs. This includes spatial mapping of priority sites to capture resilient reefs and incorporation of nursery habitats within replenishment zones.


The MOU also aims to promote the development of a Centre of Excellence to deliver the curriculum through local and international partnerships with fishers, academia, private sector, government and  non-government organisations.


Furthermore, both organisations will jointly pursue a loan scheme with credit unions and other local financial institutions to increase access to financing for fisher folks. It will also identify international markets for products developed under this joint initiative.


The MOU was signed by Ms Lejia Melanie Gideon, General Manager, Enterprise andInnovation, Beltraide and Mr Alejandro Martinez, Country Representative of The Nature Conservancy.  The signing was witnessed by Ms Shahera McKoy, Manager EXPORTBelize, BELTRAIDE and Ms Julianne Robinson from The Nature Conservancy.


Request for Expression of Interest – Shrimp Branding


Abstract: Shrimp produced in Belize, certified under the ASC shrimp standard, possess distinct characteristics that demand a high market value. In order to obtain this market advantage, the unique qualities of these shrimp need to be communicated to the consumer. Developing a unified branding and image for the Belize shrimp cluster and the transmitting this image to exporters, will ensure that these shrimp can be differentiated from others within international markets, and that the cluster can obtain the high market value assigned to sustainably certified shrimp.

Project No.: RG-X1044
Deadline: July 30, 2015

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), have established a co-financing program called “Compete Caribbean” (RG-X1044). The ultimate goal of this Program is to contribute to the increase in the standard of living and quality of life in the Caribbean, the enhancement of the competitiveness of the Caribbean region, and increase the development impact of private sector development projects while emphasizing gender equality and environmental sustainability.

The consultant’s activities include but are not limited to (i) Submitting a detailed work plan with implementation timelines; (ii) Developing a Brand strategy having due regard to the achievement, size, location and development stage of the cluster, as well as the “fit” with the country brand and individual firm brands; (iii) Submitting draft and final reports with stakeholder feedback.

The Inter-American Development Bank now invites eligible individuals to indicate their interest in providing the aforementioned services. Interested Consultants should have: (i) An advanced degree in Marketing, branding or a related field; (ii) At least five years working in a marketing capacity and demonstrated success in developing a marketing and branding initiative for aqua/agriculture based clusters; (iii) Experience working in the Caribbean region would be an asset, (vi) Fluency in English required and fluency in Spanish is an asset.

To view the full Terms of Reference for this consultancy, please click here.

Consultants will be selected in accordance with the procedures set out in the Inter-American Development Bank: Policies for the Selection and Contracting of Consultants financed by the Inter-American Development Bank GN-2350-9 and is open to all eligible bidders as defined in the policies.

Interested consultants may obtain further information at the address below during office hours 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM (US Eastern Time).

Expressions of interest and accompanying CVs must be delivered by email to Tamara Gibson ( by midnight on July 30th, 2015. Please include the following text in the subject heading:

“Expression of Interest –Shrimp Branding”

Inter-American Development Bank
Division: CTI
Assignment: COMPETE CARIBBEAN: Private Sector Development and Competitiveness
Attn: Gibson, Tamara

“Hythe”, Maxwell Main Road, Christ Church, Barbados
Tel: 1-(246) 627-8508
Web site:

Aquaculture In Belize

Taiwanese Ambassador Hands Over Cheque For Aquaculture Project

Updated: August 20, 2013
tilapia project

The Republic of China Taiwan today donated over six hundred thousand U.S dollars to the Ministry of Agriculture.  The donation went toward the Government of Belize-Taiwan Aquaculture Project to construct a hatchery center for tilapia farming at Central Farm, in order to provide male tilapia fingerlings to small-scale farmers around the country. This is the second donation toward the tilapia project which is to be a five-year long project costing approximately five million Belize dollars.  The six hundred and fifty one thousand, seven hundred and twenty five US Dollar cheque was presented by Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, David Wu, to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Gaspar Vega who speaking on behalf of the Government of Belize and the tilapia farmers, expressed his gratitude for the donation, as it serves to enhance the tilapia hatchery and farming.  Ambassador Wu stated that the hope for the centre is to produce one million fingerlings to be supplied to farmers.  Over sixty farmers have benefited from the project and the long term goal is to assist around two hundred farmers.


Wegmans in search of new shrimp supplier in Belize

Monday, July 18, 2011, 02:40 (GMT + 9)

US retailer Wegmans has been looking for a new farm as shrimp supplier since Belize Aquaculture’s (BAL) closure.

Wegmans Senior Vice President of Consumer Affairs Mary Ellen Burris said the plant closed after Sir Barry Bowen, BAL’s owner, was killed last year in a plane crash and it was decided that BAL would be closed.

Wegmans is now seeking an equally sustainable source for its shrimp.

“It was October of 2007 when we introduced new purchasing standards for farmed shrimp, raising the bar to meet tough health and environmental standards,” Burris recalled. “BAL was our supplier-partner, committed to farming shrimp to eliminate the use of antibiotics and other chemicals, avoid damaging sensitive habitats, treat waste water and reduce the use of wild fish to feed shrimp.”

The vice president added that aggressive performance targets and an auditing and reporting system were installed to monitor progress.

“Our customers loved the taste and appreciated the methods of production that offered ecological benefits,” she stated. “We regret this setback but we recognised the personal passion that the owner brought to our pioneering effort. While we mourned his sudden death, we feared the changes that have come about might happen.”

Casting nets to catch shrimp for testing at Belize Aquaculture farm. (Photo: Wegmans)

Burris noted that Wegmans is considering a farming company in Indonesia that is very similar to Belize as well as one in Florida that meets about 90 per cent of the standards set at BAL.

She also mentioned two organic options certified by NaturLand Verband in Ecuador and Honduras, plus another farm in Belize, but the latter rears a different species that does not have the “rosy glow” the company prefers.

Wegmans will gradually phase out the frozen Wegmans Shrimp from Belize.

Relatedly, the chain has partnered with the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) to assist with Wegmans’s aquaculture sustainability programme. Specifically, efforts will aim to develop guidelines for the programme that will require that suppliers source from environmentally responsible sources.

The areas of the supply chain to be covered are the processing facility, farm and hatchery.

Wegmans operates 77 stores in the northeastern US and will open its first store in Massachusetts in 2011. It employs over 41,000 people and had 2010 annual sales of USD 5.6 billion.

Related article:

– Wegmans to keep seafood prices low in 2011

By Natalia Real

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: