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Aug 29, 2014

P.M. Barrow Says B.S.C.F.A. Needs to Sort Out Itself Amid Tate & Lyle Crisis

Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke today on a number of hot-button issues of national importance including developments in the sugar industry. Eighteen branches of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association convened in emergency meeting on Thursday in Orange Walk Town after Tate and Lyle made the surprise announcement  that it would be buying far less sugar, fifty thousand tons less and even worse that payments for Fair-Trade sugar would be paid on a delayed basis. It sent famers on a tail spin because the decision of the multinational was unexpected. Thursday’s meeting ended with consensus that farmers are willing to dialogue and negotiate a way forward with Tate and Lyle, which is a member of the American Sugar Refinery group. When the PM was asked today about the issue, he said that a huge chunk of the fair-trade millions goes to the association and they need to sort out its own internal issues.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“I don’t know too very much about that. I believe that there was a suspension of the fair-trade premium as a consequence of irregularities that the monitors discovered. I don’t know that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has yet remedied the defects. It appears that what is happening is…number one, there is a need for that to be sorted out because if that is not sorted out there will be no fair-trade premium at all. But it seems even if that issue is squared away, there is the possibility, perhaps the likelihood that the amount of sugar to attract the fair-trade premium will be less. That’s unfortunate if that is how it turns out and I would regret to see that happen, but people must make the clear distinction between what is the regular price for sugar that the farmers get and the fair-trade premium which money seems to go principally to the B.S.C.F.A.  Supposedly and presumably for use in turn in a manner that benefits the farmers. Still there has to be the separation made between what goes to farmers directly and what goes to the B.S.C.F.A. I will hope that the two things that need to happen will happen; that is that the B.S.C.F.A. will get squared away with their issues so that the suspension could be lifted and that the amount of sugar to attract the fair-trade premium will not be as sharply reduced as at this moment appears to be possible.”

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1 Response for “P.M. Barrow Says B.S.C.F.A. Needs to Sort Out Itself Amid Tate & Lyle Crisis”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    The cane farmers must find other buyers on the open market to sell their sugar cane or manufacture their own sugar refinery plant to sell sugar on the world markets. This must be done unless they are restrained by the UDP government which provided ASR with a monopoly to buy and sell sugar in Belize. ASR has killed the sugar industry unless the farmers can sell to Mexico, Guatemala. Can you imagine that UDP gave ASR a sugar monopoly, 20 year tax concession, land to grow their own cane obviating the need to buy raw sugarcane from farmers, and other fiscal concessions. What fools we Belizeans have been . We have been duped by UDP and ASR. Shame and shameful Barrow , his politicians, and his cabinet.

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