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Jul 31, 2015

B.S.C.F.A.’s Cansino Says Measures To Be Put In Place

There is some measure of relief from the positive news coming out of Fairtrade. In December 2014, faced with terrible financial woes because of a crop delayed by hostile negotiations with ASR, farmers drew down on millions in Fairtrade monies already allocated for special projects. That move caused no end of concern for B.S.C.F.A. representatives who feared reprisals from Fairtrade, up to and including decertification. While the unauthorized re-allocation of the money was unplanned and unexpected, it did not result in catastrophe, but it did come up in the audit.

 

Ezequiel Cansino, Chairman, Committee of Management, B.S.C.F.A.

“Yes, we were given a non-compliance on that, and the non-compliance is that on November 2014 a budget and a plan was approved by the assembly for us to implement during this year. In January they changed this budget by deciding that they will disburse this money equally to the cane-farmers. It’s a total of six point five million dollars that was disbursed. We did have that fair that we would be decertified because it is something that should not happen because the premium is received especially for social projects and the community. The non-compliance that we got is that the assembly didn’t present a plan for the disbursement. The decision that was taken is that the maximum authority took that decision, because it is said in the criteria that only the maximum authority which is the assembly can decide what will be done with that money, and they decided to disburse it. But the reason for the disbursement was not presented, so we fell into a non-compliance on that part.”

 

Ezequiel Cansino

Mike Rudon

“But in terms of a corrective measure there’s nothing you can do. The money is gone.”

 

Ezequiel Cansino

“The money is gone, but we have to find something for us to prevent because they advised us not to repeat it because the next time will definitely result in decertification. So we have to put something in place that will prevent us from doing this. And also a work-plan should be presented – something like an excuse – for this disbursement and how the cane-farmers benefitted from this money.”

 

The certification by Fairtrade is exceptional news for the B.S.C.F.A., which reaps dividends of millions annually through the sale of premium certified sugar.

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