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Nov 24, 2015

B.S.I. Supports Request to Raise Cost of Sugar Sold on Belize Market

Belizario Carballo

News Five also spoke with Belizario Carballo, Chief Financial Officer at Belize Sugar Industries Limited.  According to the CFO, while the first estimates for the 2015 crop cannot be adjusted, B.S.I. supports the farmers’ request for an adjustment of sugar prices sold on the local market.

 

On the Phone: Belizario Carballo, Chief Financial Officer, B.S.I.

“The Sugar Industry Control Board met on Friday and preparations are now underway for the crop to start, you know.  The date has been agreed, the seventh of December.  The crop will start on the seventh of December.  So everything is now planning on that, you know.  So the industry is now preparing for that start date.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Okay.  Do you foresee a favorable outcome with regards to government‘s involvement in this ongoing process between ASR/B.S.I. and the respective sugar cane farmers associations?”

 

On the Phone: Belizario Carballo

“I‘m not sure what process because the farmers have, there are a few things that have been, are the issue here.  It’s a commercial thing so the farmers have written us on a commercial basis to see if we could revise the price, you know.  We have responded, I don‘t know if you have a copy of that letter. Do you have a copy of that letter that we responded?”

 

Isani Cayetano

“That was issued on Friday; yes I am in possession of that letter.”

 

On the Phone: Belizario Carballo

“The four-page letter?”

 

Isani Cayetano

“I’m not quite sure how long it is, but I am in possession of a response from B.S.I. that was issued on Friday of last week.”

 

On the Phone: Belizario Carballo

“On Thursday, actually. But on Friday we issued a press release to sort of highlight the key points. But essentially there is nothing that we can do on the price so the price remains. So that’s one issue and that’s on a commercial basis. Independent of that, the farmers have written government—that we know of—asking for a review, an increase in the price of sugar. This is a matter that we fully support as well because as an industry, we have been pursuing this for quite some time. The last price increase was in 2001, so it was fourteen years ago, so in our view it was well justified for the industry to get the support, independent of anything else. That is something that I can’t respond to; it will be government to respond to that. But that would be independent of the start of crop. What is impacting the start of crop, which they have asked for as well, which is their usual requests, is for works to be done on the roads. Because of the rains recently, a lot of the roads were in poor condition. Probably government can play a role there in terms of getting some more immediate works done on roads. And again, I don’t know how that will be for government to respond. But as far as I know, we are all geared up for the start of crop on the seventh of December.”

 

As we mentioned earlier, a response from government is expected following Friday’s meeting.

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