More than 3,000 coconut farmers are now resting easier following government intervention in a matter involving the shutting down of a coconut water bottling plant in the Lower Pomeroon.

The futures of the farmers were in jeopardy after the Fat Boy coconut water bottling plant indicated it would shut down following an order from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The order was issued in an effort to cease the dumping of coconut husks in the Pomeroon River.

According to reports from the Department of Public Information (DPI), the farmers were left pondering their next move and, during a meeting at Grant Regina, which was chaired by Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder and Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence, they took the opportunity to raise their concerns with the ministers, reading from a letter provided to them from the company.

The letter explained that the bottling plant would cease operations on July 31 to comply with the EPA order. It went on to state while the company has a plan to address the dumping, it was experimental and they would not be able to say when they would reopen their doors. This would essentially mean that thousands of farmers would be left without a source of income.

Minister Lawrence informed them that government had since taken a decision to allow the bottling plant to continue its operation and, in the interim, discard the husks on land. She further advised the farmers to consult with the Food and Drug Administration and the EPA to work on the regulations around the discarding of the coconut husks. (Modified from the Department of Public Information)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here