Belize

Yamwits Valley, Cayo
17°7’55.5”N
88°38’31.2”W

Hummingbird Citrus is a Belizean citrus, coconut and cocoa farm. Since 2014, we have been working together to rehabilitate the abandoned Xibun River Estate plantation. Founded in the 1970s, the plantation took its name from the Xibun River that runs alongside its border.  It was eventually acquired by Hummingbird Citrus under the initiative of its director, Henry Canton, with the aim of revitalizing the plantation.

In 2020, Hummingbird Citrus will join Silk Grass Farms. This Belizean family of companies includes a diversified plantation (growing coconuts, citrus fruit and more) committed to implementing innovative regenerative agricultural practices allowing it to make a positive social and environmental impact. It also encompasses a state-of-the-art agribusiness that turns harvests into high quality food and beverages, stimulating the local economy. Silk Grass Farms’ commitments have earned it the distinction of being the first B-Corp certified company in Belize. All of its post-tax profits fund the non-profit organization Silk Grass Wildlife Preserve, which manages a private protected natural area with almost 10,000 hectares of primary rainforest in the Maya Mountains. Founded by Mandy Cabot and Peter Kjellerup, the Silk Grass Wildlife Preserve has created an ecological corridor by connecting three other protected areas: Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve, Sittee River Forest Preserve and Bocawina Mayflower National Park.

By joining Silk Grass Farms, Hummingbird Citrus takes its ambitions to the next level: a 5-year infrastructure restoration plan is in place to provide excellent quality accommodation for the families of the 46 employees. In this project—in which Valrhona is a partner—18 homes will be renovated, including access to drinking water and electricity while complying with anti-hurricane standards. The social and environmental ambitions and high-quality produce of Hummingbird Citrus make it a natural partner for Valrhona.

2014 Partnership signature

Renewed in 2021 for 10 years

Since 2014 Exclusive rights

to Xibun River Estate (XRE) cocoa

46 employees

in the plantation

Since 2014

Restoration of Xibun River Estate:

  • Restoration of access roads, drainage channels, pruning of old cocoa trees and shade trees, planting of new cocoa trees, planting coconut trees on an intercropping basis.

Hurricane Earl struck Xibun River Estate in 2016, and much of the refurbishment work had to be restarted.

  • Installation and maintenance of cocoa preparation infrastructure and equipment: fermentation tanks, solar drying beds and storage warehouse.

From 2016 to 2020

Rebuilding XRE employee housing following Hurricane Earl: replacing broken roofs, reconstruction of the communal kitchen, providing access to drinking water and electricity.

In 2021

A 5-year plan is in place for the thorough rehabilitation of the homes of the 46 plantation employees and their families. In total, 18 housing units will be fully renovated with access to drinking water and electricity, kitchen and sanitary facilities; all up to anti-hurricane standards. 

Xibun River Estate has not used any chemical pesticides or herbicides since its refurbishment, the plantation has been covered with grass.

80 people

will be housed in refurbished housing, including the 46 plantation employees and their families

180ha restored

80ha replanted

with cocoa