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Jul 22, 2016

B.S.C.F.A. Says Farmers Shouldn’t Absorb Cost of Spoiled Molasses

Up north, there is trouble in the sugar belt. Will sugar cane farmers in the north bear the brunt of financial losses from spoiled molasses?  Caneros are tonight incensed over the suggestion that they will have to absorb sixty-five percent of the total cost of the wasted syrup.  That works out to about twenty-two cents less per ton of sugar.  Farmers contend that since signing an agreement with ASR/B.S.I. last year, ownership of cane upon delivery belongs to the miller.  As such, B.S.I., according to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, should assume the loss altogether.  This evening, News Five spoke by phone with C.E.O. Oscar Alonzo, who told us that the B.S.C.F.A. has been meeting with its membership to come up with a position on the latest development.

 

On the Phone: Oscar Alonzo, Chief Executive Officer, B.S.C.F.A.

“When B.S.I. informed us about the investigation that they had conducted into the loss of molasses due to the Maillard’s Reaction, we had expressed our dissatisfaction with the report. But most of all we expressed our disapproval of them assuming the financial loss of that molasses in the estimation of the cane price for the second payment. This meant that the farmers will be getting twenty-two cents les per ton of cane because of that loss. We are saying that in accordance to the agreement that we signed, that loss should not be factored into the calculation of that estimate for the cane price and they have a different view. They simply just noted our comments. As of today, we are still in that position. Yesterday we submitted a letter to the Sugar Industry Control Board asking that the SICB arrange for an independent investigation of that loss of molasses also that it has B.S.I. absorb the total loss of that molasses and not pass it off to the cane farmers. So we are waiting on the response from the Sugar Industry Control Board regarding our request. We have engaged in several activities regarding this. We already reached out to our members through our branch meetings. I think we are trying to let the farmers understand; they themselves have been communicating to us that they are not happy with the situation and what B.S.I. is trying to do—passing off the cost of that loss to them—especially now with the low prices for the cost of sugar cane and especially with the second payment being a really important amount of money that they need to receive in order to carry out other practices that they need on the sugar cane field. But most of all they need part of that money to prepare for the new calendar year for education all these kinds of things for the children. So it seems as a hard blow to them made by B.S.I.  They indicated that the loss was three hundred tons of molasses; on the price that they were using there, they estimated at four hundred and twenty-two thousand six hundred and sixty-six thousand dollars for the total loss, sixty-five percent of which you would have to bear which would amount to twenty-two cents per ton of cane. So again we will be absorbing thirty-five percent. But we are saying that because of the agreement that we signed last year, they had said that once the cane was delivered to them at the gate, they have complete ownership of that cane. So we understand that to be that they have control of all products that are created with that cane: sugar, molasses and energy. They had indicated to us that that they would be producing so many tons of molasses from our cane and the production figure for the estimate also give us the final production figure and they are saying that we should be paid for that molasses that was produced because we had nothing to do with that loss. Sugar, molasses falls under the full responsibility of B.S.I.  So what happens with the manufacturing and storage is up to them. It is something completely out of our control and we should not bear any cost for that.”

 

A total of three thousand, nine hundred tons of molasses has been lost to the Maillard’s Reaction.

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1 Response for “B.S.C.F.A. Says Farmers Shouldn’t Absorb Cost of Spoiled Molasses”

  1. Belizean born says:

    So let me see if I understand, the cane upon delivery belongs to the miller, whom should absorb any loss if any is aquired, but any profits on the products or by products that can be derived from said (miller’s) cane, should be shared with the farmers. Way to go.

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