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Dec 2, 2016

Edmond Castro says BSCFA at fault for Fairtrade suspension

During the annual general meeting of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association over the weekend, farmers were informed of the recent suspension of the association from Fair-trade. The Association claims that the suspension came about as a result of an audit which exposed three areas of non-compliance due to the wrongful delivery of sugar cane to the factory. The non-compliance is said to be over a “phantom farmer” said to be delivering sugar cane. In this case Eloy Escalante is said to have sold his quota to Minister Edmond Castro who delivered sugar cane as an administrator but retaining Escalante’s name for the delivery. Fairtrade caught with the situation and suspended the association. Escalante has been removed from the association’s list of farmers after selling his quota to the son of Minister of Transport Edmond Castro, although the Sugar Cane Production Committee delayed and then ultimately decided not to allow the transfer due to a rule in place on who can assume quotas in the case of dead farmers. The suspension is costing the B.S.C.F.A. millions of dollars. This evening, the Minister denied that the Escalante situation had anything to do with the decertification. He accused the Association of mismanagement in allowing as many as sixty similar instances to go unaddressed.

 

On the Phone: Edmond Castro

On the Phone: Edmond Castro

“I have nothing to do with the decertification. Dah di mismanagement of the Association get them eena problem. Two, if dehn put my name eena deh audit dat I cause dem to get decertfified, den ah wah sue dehn backside. Three, I noh have no dealings with them. Yes, my son buy out, buy Eloy Escalante’s quota of one hundred and thirty-seven tons. This happened some three years ago or more maybe, at least three years ago. The Sugar Board: we informed the Sugar Board; the Sugar Board wrote the letter stating that they cannot do name changes at this time, they will do a letter of administration. The following year, they supposed to change and correct their books, because Eloy Escalante is not the person producing cane. Year one, year two, year three, they did not change the name from Eloy Escalante to my son. So negligence on their part, one, and two, they are trying to use my name as scapegoat for their mismanagement, because over sixty cane farmers are in that same situation, whereby [they] did not change from administration to cane farmers and those sixty-plus cane farmers are delivering to the factory.”

 

Castro denied any conflict of interest and told us that his family have been cane farmers in the Belize District for three generations.

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1 Response for “Edmond Castro says BSCFA at fault for Fairtrade suspension”

  1. Clue says:

    And there you go again, got caught red handed. You knew what you were doing. If you knew what the rules were, why didn’t you go back to them after year one, year two, year three? You knew exactly why. Then, you put your son’s name in it. You and Boots have a new hustle. The best is yet to come because I have reliable proof of a bogus document you signed for someone in the US in to purposely commit fraud; one which is a Federal offense in the US. Said person is already in hot water because he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else and his con game is about to be exposed. Let’s see what happens when he has to go back to Belize to face the music.

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