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Aug 27, 2014

New Schedule for Fairtrade Payments

That was the really bad news, but it gets worse. Traditionally farmers received payment for Fairtrade sugar when it was received by the company. But that’s not happening this time. The letter from Tate and Lyle informs the B.S.C.F.A. that payment will be made not when the sugar is received, but when the sugar is sold to customers in the E.U.  That’s insult to injury where cane-farmers are concerned. The B.S.C.F.A. is withholding very point commentary until after a meeting to be held with branch chairmen in Orange Walk on Thursday, but Ortega did tell News Five that this new schedule of payment is another crippling blow to farmers.

 

Alfredo Ortega, Vice Chairman, Committee of Management, B.S.C.F.A.

“That is also another situation Mike because they have placed here that they will changing the payment scheme. Usually they paid us thirty days after the sugar had arrived at the port in the EU. Now in this letter they are saying that they will pay us based on sales after it is sold to the customers, so it will really harm the situation because it means that payments will be coming in one year, two years or three years after we have sent. So that will really have a negative impact on the whole situation of the Fairtrade certification.”

 

Reporter

Alfredo Ortega

“Do you feel that this will destroy or at least seriously harm the relationship which has been fostered between the farmers and the mill?”

 

Alfredo Ortega

“Well I think that it will have an impact but as you know we need the mill and the mill needs our cane, so we have to see how we can cope but is really a slap in the face, this situation Mike…I don’t really want to go into further details on this thing because there are a lot of things that could be said but I will wait until after the meeting of tomorrow.”

 

News Five spoke to several major players in the industry today, and there is consensus that the ASR owned Tate and Lyle is punishing the farmers for their agitation and reluctance to accept B.S.I.’s bagasse payment proposal. News Five attempted to get comment from B.S.I. today, but were told that executives were busy in meetings.

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