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Aug 10, 2018

Tate and Lyle Should be Paying for the Freight, Not Farmers says P.U.P.

There seems to be a widening rift between cane farmers in the north and the millers, American Sugar Refinery/Belize Sugar Industry. It has to do with the cane price estimates and how it is being calculated. The contention between the two parties surrounds an eleven-million-dollar transportation cost of sugar/molasses at Free Alongside Ship. According to Orange Walk South Area Representative, Jose Mai, the cost has been passed on to the cane farmers. It has negatively affected the tonnage price of sugar cane delivered, which was at an average of forty-five dollars. According to Mai, costs should go to the buyer and not the seller.

 

On the Phone: Jose Mai, Area Representative, O.W. South, P.U.P.

“When I saw that term, in my view, I said that Tate and Lyle who is buying the sugar will have to pay for the freight but in the spread sheet, the balance sheet that ASR presented to the farmers there is an eleven million dollars cost for ocean freight. That is a direct contradiction. Tate and Lyle can’t be paying for the freight and then ASR I put it as a cost that we share here in Belize. So that was the main point of controversy. Thereafter they tried to explain why they have F.A.S. there. It is very clear. The document is very clear. It says that BSI sells X amount of sugar to Tate and Lyle at F.A.S. price. ASR sells X amount of sugar to the U.S. at F.A.S. price again. It sells direct consumption sugar, the amount at F.A.S. price. So the term F.A.S. appears on all the sugar that is being exported from in Belize including molasses. But yet we have a cost of eleven million dollars ocean freight to pay. That is the basis for the entire controversy. But beside that, there is also a cost of eleven point five million dollars for local handling that moving the sugar from Tower Hill through the river to the bay of Corozal going back to the sea. We have been telling ASR for a very long time that we cannot continue with this high cost of ocean freight and they need to do something about it and they have not. Now the price of sugar has gone down from the world market and now the cane farmers are getting a very low price for their sugar. So low that they are unable to meet their bank payments. So low that they are unable to invest anything in their cane field anymore.”

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