The Belize Citrus industry goes back to the year 1913 with the establishment of the first citrus plantation and then later on in 1948 expanding with the first processing plant in Pomona Village, Stann Creek (Citrus Company of Belize Ltd.) and a second plant in Alta Vista Village, Stann Creek in 1963 (Belize Food Products Ltd.). Over the years, the industry has grown and developed under different entities with many diverse stakeholders in both processing and growing. The growing aspect of the industry has not changed much over the years, but the processing segment has now been consolidated under a single ownership with a redefined focus.
The process of unification began in December 1998 when the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) through its Barbados offshore company completed the acquisition of the Citrus Company of Belize Limited (CCB); in March 1999 it completed the acquisition of Barton Creek Farms Ltd. (BCF); and in August 1999 it completed the acquisition of Belize Food Holdings Limited (BFH). In October 2000 CDC Barbados transferred its shareholdings in BFH, CCB, and BCF into a new group holding company for Belize named Del Oro (Belize) Ltd. (DOB). This decision effectively consolidated the operations of the group bringing together horizontal integration and vertical integration in terms of upstream and down stream operations.
In early 2000 the Belize Citrus Growers Association Investment Company Limited (BCGAICL), the investment arm of the Belize Citrus Growers Association, acquired a minority shareholding in DOB from CDC. BCGAICL Acquisitions amounting to 99.78% of the shareholdings were complete by late 2002. By the end of 2002 the name of the company was officially changed from Del Oro (Belize) Ltd. to Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL). CPBL’s financial year was changed from October 1st to September 30th.