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Nov 27, 2010

B.S.I. gets blamed, but is the factory at fault for Sugar Industry woes?

A bailout loan for the sugar industry crossed one more hurdle today.  The ten million dollar loan passed through the House of Representatives on Thursday.  Although the vote was unanimous, tensions still flared among the parliamentarians. Today, the bill went before the Senate.  As it did in the House, the loan got full approval of the Senators. Jose Mai of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association was sworn in as a Senator for today’s sitting. He gave support but offered advice on the way forward. Mai said that he was of the firm belief that not only should the cane farmers sacrifice but adjustments also have to be made by the Belize Sugar Industries. And while Mai inferred that there is bad blood between farmers and the factory, he implicitly stated that B.S.I.  needs to be reformed. Senator Godwin Hulse rose to defend B.S.I.’s employees.

jose mai

Jose Mai, Senator

“The government’s acquisition of another seat on the company’s board of directors sets the stage for serious reform in the company’s way of doing business and how it conducts its relationship with the cane farmers. It is a double formidable undertaking and it has to be commended. The attitude of arrogance and superiority must now give way to a spirit of genuine cooperation; one of have mutual respect. Noh di downplay the cane farmer. We may not be able to read and write and count as good as B.S.I., but we no run this association that bad yet.”

Godwin Hulse, Senator

godwin hulse

“The executive management is a very well high caliber people. Joe Montalvo, he’s been there forty years, he grew up. Mister Belizario Carballo is the finance director; he’s been there twenty-two years. Mister Narciso Avila, Chicho as we call him is the manager of handling and shipping operations—he’s been there forever.  Mister John Gillett is the factory manager and Mister Lennox Neal is the chief operations manager. A better engineer is hard to find. Mister Eduardo Zetina is manager fo research and cane farmer relations and he is daily in touch with cane farmers in terms of research quality etc, etc. This is the same management team who are able to negotiate a significant loan with five of the major banks in the world to do the co-generation project and indeed those banks pulled us through the colds. All the directors had to submit, CVs were interviewed before they even considered talking to us. So I take great objection to maligning these people as if they are riff raff group that doesn’t know what it’s doing.”

lisa shoman

Lisa Shoman, Senator

“I note that the PM said that because of the timing of what has happened unfortunately we were caught up in turkey day. Let me tell you madam president, if this isn’t solved by Monday, Tuesday, the turkey is going to be the Government of Belize. Indeed I hasten to say that probably all of us in the National Assembly—government and opposition—will face the wrath of the people because this needs to be dealt with as expeditiously and quickly as possible.”

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7 Responses for “B.S.I. gets blamed, but is the factory at fault for Sugar Industry woes?”

  1. Indy says:

    You can clearly see that Mr Hulse is bias and doesn’t know what the farmers are going through. He only know what the factory is going through because his friends, BSI directors, tell him all the details. So, again the farmers are to blame for this.

  2. rootsman says:

    Mr. Hulse I am not sure what interest you have in all this to be defending these managers of BSI so strongly they don’t have to be a riff raff group to not know how to manage the company and obviously they don’t otherwise they would not be in the dilemma that they now face.

    I think that before the government fully commit itself to this ten million dollars loan conditions should be set for an independent auditor to come in and go over the books of BSI to try and identify exactly where the problems lie and who might be putting their hands in the cookie jar, unless the GOB itself is the problem then it would be like letting the fox guard the hens.

  3. javier solis says:

    Without reform on both sectors the industry will surely fail this year.
    There msut be changes. And Mai should not cast stones, since the BSCFA is in debt to about $6 million to SSB and the Banks. Remember when recently Brodies confiscated their vehicles? If not for Fairtrade monies, whcih BSI made happen, they would not have had the $19.5 million gift since 2008.
    BSI must also trim its fat and operate in a mean mode.

  4. His Majesty says:

    B.S.I is like a dumb 7yr old who is given $5 squanders it and thinks he is gonna be given more if he cries. I don’t think they learn their lesson,watch the ceo’s start saving all the money they can from now until they factory fails again, would i be surprise if some (ceo) moves to the states others retire and the people are left jobless,homeless,with the hopes of a civil war breaking out? I wouldn’t bet a horses teeth. Give them another 3 yrs 10million dollars ain’t sh*t bze don’t be fooled this is just enough money for the industry to survive for the next 2-3yrs.My father should have never sold them that land but i wouldn’t mind buying it back from them when they go broke, build a University that poor people can afford and learn a trade like nursing,construction,electrician which is recognized worldwide.

  5. ivan cal says:

    ‘I DON’T KNOW what took so long the GOB to approve the $10 million loan from social security,but could approve it rite away WHEN they wanted it to loan the $50 million dollars from SSB for BTL [barrow telemedia ltd} altough we Belizeans would not BENEFIT AT ALL from the high risky investment of our money to BTL ….TANK God that it was not too late -we don’t want another cane farmer to be murdered by DEAN barrow’s security forces!!..”I still cannot forget when barrow said on national radio those coments when Atanacio {cane farmer} was killed by the police\BDF ” IF I HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN!! I WILL DO IT AGAIN,I REPEAT THAT IS NOT MY INDUSTRY!! I REPEAT THAT IS NOT MY INDUSTRY”… Those were his words and will never be forgotten by thousands of cane farmers AND BELIZEANS OF the north- its still in their minds and it will not be FORGOTTEN”.

  6. daveyt says:

    If the BSI management team were as good an Mr. Hulse claims, how on earth did BSI end up on its knees in the first place????/

    Time for new blood int that palce, from the top down..

  7. Esther says:

    Where will Belize be placed by the UDP with so many debts……BSI should cut down on huge un-necessary expenses mein. All these managers including Jose Montalvo have way of a free lifestyle of living…thanks to the canefarmers. These highy tighty ppl with their families live free of cost…(no rent, water, electricity, telephone, cable,gasoline bills etc etc are all paid for them by BSI. Having more than one maid….come on ppl open your eyes…..This is pure bulls*** of BSI and montalvo. Poor ppl always pay for the rich,

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