Silk Grass Farms, a tropical fruit processing company in Belize, had a grand vision for their future. They wanted to create an agribusiness that would help the local community and protect a 27,500-acre area. This agribusiness had to be sustainable. Achieving this ambitious goal required investment, growth, and the right partnership to provide the necessary equipment and expertise.

Henry Canton, Executive Director of Silk Grass Farms, stated, “We were looking to invest and grow to become a sustainable agribusiness that can support the vision of the company: investing in our local community, our people, and creating a business that could preserve and protect a 27,500-acre tract of land located in Belize.”

A Fruitful Partnership: JBT Corporation and Silk Grass Farms

Silk Grass Farms needed a complete solution. This solution had to increase their production and expand their product range. This would make their vision a reality. JBT Corporation stepped in and provided state-of-the-art equipment tailored to the needs of Silk Grass Farms.

JBT’s support covered a wide range of products and services. This included fruit handling and production technologies of JBT FTNON to HPP equipment from JBT Avure.

Canton praised JBT Corporation for their understanding of the company’s needs and the breadth of expertise they brought to the table. “JBT’s people, understanding of our needs, and the breadth of expertise that they brought to the table is what sold us on buying their equipment.” said Canton.

“Knowing that they will be here as a partner long after this project is finished was also a key factor in our decision. They have always been willing to stand behind their products and solutions with the support and collaboration that gives me confidence that we will be partners for many years to come.”

Expanding Horizons: From Coconuts to Citrus Juices and Beyond

Tractor on a coconut farm pulling an orange trailer.

With the implementation of JBT’s equipment, Silk Grass Farms experienced remarkable growth and increased their product offerings. Silk Grass Farms was able to increase the production of coconut-based products. Additionally, they ventured into new product territories. This included processing HPP watermelon juice and citrus juices, as well as creating blended juices.

Canton proudly shared, “With our new plant, we are not only able to increase our production, but have expanded our product range into a wide variety of drinks, juices, and purees—not only for the Belizean retail market, but to export premium quality Belizean products to companies around the world.”

This expansion allowed them to cater to both local and international markets, exporting premium quality Belizean products worldwide. Silk Grass Farms improved Belize’s reputation for high-quality agricultural products. This enabled them to form new trade relationships.

The Fruits of Success: Creating Jobs and Wealth in the Local Community

The partnership between Silk Grass Farms and JBT Corporation has had a positive ripple effect on the local community. With increased production and an expanded product range, job opportunities were created for the people of Belize. Now more families have been able to enjoy stable incomes. This has led to an overall improvement in the community’s quality of life.

“The company has been able to achieve significant growth and success thanks to the support of JBT Corporation,” Canton acknowledged.

This sustainable agribusiness venture has been successful, demonstrating the potential of local communities in rural and agricultural areas. With the right support, these communities can experience significant growth, create jobs, and contribute to the global market. Agribusinesses are increasingly taking steps to positively impact the economy and environment. This will lead to a more sustainable future for Belize and other countries as well.

A Bright Future: A Sustainable Agribusiness Model for Others to Follow

The story of Silk Grass Farms and JBT Corporation is a shining example of how investing in rural areas and employing sustainable agribusiness practices can lead to the betterment of local communities and the environment. This venture demonstrates that with the right partners, dedication, and a clear vision, it is possible to create a thriving, sustainable business that not only benefits the local economy but also leaves a positive global impact.

Coconut palm tree with coconuts. Tropical background in sunny day.

As Canton puts it, “Knowing that they [JBT Corporation] will be here as a partner long after this project is finished gives me confidence that we will be partners for many years to come.” This enduring partnership sets a strong example for the industry, emphasizing the importance of long-term collaboration for mutual success.

Silk Grass Farms’ success with coconut water production shows the potential of focusing on niche products. This can lead to growth and diversification. Silk Grass Farms specialized in coconut water. Later, they expanded their product line to include HPP watermelon and citrus juices. This move allowed them to tap into the increasing demand for healthy, natural beverages.

Leveraging Tailored Solutions for Business Expansion

This model of growth and expansion can serve as a blueprint for other agribusinesses looking to enter new markets or scale their operations. By partnering with companies like JBT Corporation that provide tailored solutions, businesses can effectively navigate the challenges of growth and maintain a focus on sustainability and community development.

This partnership between Silk Grass Farms and JBT Corporation offers a compelling example of how agribusinesses can thrive by investing in sustainable practices, cutting-edge technologies, and community development. As more companies adopt this approach, we can expect to see an even brighter future for rural and agricultural communities around the world.