By Jeffrey Magaña
The highest priority for Circle R Products Limited, a farmer-owned business, is food security for Belize. Their newest product, Dalla Rice, was recently introduced to provide a 14 oz. package of grade A rice for $1. Harvest for Kids is grade A premium rice; Jade is grade B; Ruby, grade C and Topaz, grade D. The Harvest for Kids product is named for the socially responsible project it supports. A percentage of the sale of all Harvest for Kids rice goes to support Belize Camping Experience in Belize City, summer Bible camps and work with kids in schools throughout the city. We believe that if our children are inspired today, our country can become a better place. So, remember, if you buy Harvest for Kids rice, you are contributing to a worthy cause, not to mention that you are also taking home the best quality rice available in Belize.
There are two (2) growing cycles; dry season and wet season. Records are kept to identify the grain and the farm when rice is delivered and milled. The rice is tested for moisture before it is accepted for milling. Farmers are paid based on quality. All rice is milled to order to ensure freshness.
Circle R was established in Blue Creek, Orange Walk District in 1996 by several farmers who had mutual interest to grow rice and collectively mill and market the rice; it began as a small, 5-person operation milling rice and selling fertilizers and pesticides. Over the years Circle R expanded their operations and number of employees to 70. In the beginning milling was seasonal. Now 26 rice farmers farming approximately 6,200 acres keep the mill running year-round with an annual production of 22,000,000 lbs. of paddy rice; 60,000 lbs. are milled every day.
Currently most of the acres in production are irrigated. After harvest irrigated fields are not used to grow other crops because they are too low for other crops and most fields have flooding risk during the rainy season.
In 2007, the first packaging machine was acquired; in 2016 a second packaging line was added. Circle R products have always been pre-packaged to ensure safe consumer products; each package is labeled and dated. Circle R rice is sold throughout the country.