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Wednesday, 03 July 2013 11:59

Trade Winds Citrus Ltd.

Trade Winds Citrus Ltd’s agro-processing facilities are located along the banks one of Jamaica’s largest and most important watersheds, the Rio Cobre Watershed. The Rio Cobre Watershed provides the water resources for the Kingston Metropolitan and surrounding communities. Presently, watershed degradation of the Rio Cobre is of major concern to the Jamaican Government since Jamaica possesses a wide range of ecosystems and an unusual range of biodiversity and is ranked fifth in islands-of-the-world in terms of endemic plant species.

Of the 3,200 endemic species in Jamaica, 200 to 500 have been declared vulnerable to extinction. More recently, the Rio Cobre Watershed has experienced reduced water supply, increased incidence of flooding and increased coastal contamination and degradation of the Kingston Harbour.
Figure1 below shows the material flow through the agro-food cycle and the environmental aspects at Trade Winds Citrus processing facilities in Bog walk, St Catherine.

As a champion for sustainability and good environmental stewardship, Trade Winds Citrus Ltd participated in the ENACT’s Study Tour to Canada by sending Arturo Montero, the Product Development and Quality Systems Manager. Mr. Montero brought back critical knowledge and valuable insight that could improve the efficiency of operations by implementing good environmental practices and changing the prevailing paradigm that waste is useless, to one that views waste as an opportunity. Our focus is to minimize the production of waste and then to reuse and recycle the inevitable waste. The citrus peel remaining as solid waste after extracting the juice from the citrus fruits are fed to cattle by the surrounding dairy farmers. Spent juices that are unsuitable for bottling will also be fed to cattle. The Trade Effluent from operations is being treated by natural anaerobic-aerobic fermentation ponds in order to reduce the BOD and then filtered by Hyacinths to reduce nitrates. The resulting discharge is suitable for irrigation or diverting back into the environment.
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Trade Winds Citrus Ltd has eliminated all Ozone Depleting Substances from its operations and has invested in new refrigeration and cooling systems that are environmentally friendly and consume less energy, thereby reducing the consumption of fossil fuels. We have benefited tremendously from the ENACT programme and we want to extend our gratitude to the JMA, NEPA, ENACT and MIND for their invaluable contributions.