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Oct 1, 2013

Not all sweet in sugar industry; Cane Farmers Association suspends negotiation

The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries, under the American Sugar Refining Limited, have been enjoying a fruitful relationship since ASR successfully purchased seventy-eight point six percent of the B.S.I. Group. Sugar production at the Tower Hill Factory has increased considerably and following a successful year for caneros in the north, predictions for 2013 are that some five thousand, six hundred cane farmers will once again see a good crop year. But not all is sweet in the industry and the BSCFA has suspended negotiations for a new commercial agreement with B.S.I. According to Chairman, Alfredo Ortega, while certain areas of the agreement are acceptable to both parties, there is disagreement in relations to the payment of bagasse which is used as fuel by BELCOGEN to generate energy. BSCFA believes that cane farmers should also benefit financially. Last Thursday, at one of the scheduled meetings, BSCFA called off negotiations until a written submission is made by B.S.I. to address their proposal for payment on the sugar cane byproduct. Ortega says he believes that they can come to an agreement.


Alfredo Ortega, Chairman, Committee of Management, BSCFA

“What we as an organization was asking for is to start negotiation regards to the use of bagasse for fuel for BELCOGEN. And the answer from B.S.I. was a direct no; that they will not  be negotiating in that regard and that they will not be granting any benefit to the farmers in that regard.”



“So you guys believe that you should get payment for the bagasse that will be used for BELCOGEN?”


Alfredo Ortega

Alfredo Ortega

“Of course because now the bagasse has turned to be fuel for BELCOGEN and it is now creating an economic value and because of that, we as farmers should participate at least in some benefit in the use of bagasse.”



“Why are they against this?”


Alfredo Ortega

“Well according to B.S.I. that they are the ones that had made the investment for the plan and that the bagasse is a waste. And we have mentioned to them that yes, before it was not in use, bagasse was a waste, but since it has become fuel for BELCOGEN, it is creating now an economic value and because of the bagasse, BELCOGEN is running. And they are selling electricity to the national grid. So in that regard, we as farmers believe that we should have at least a benefit in the use of that bagasse.”



“What does this mean for the relations between B.S.I. and the cane farmers?”


Alfredo Ortega

“Well we hope that we could continue a friendly dialogue with them. We really wouldn’t want to reach a point where we would be backwards where we were before—2006, 2007 and when it took us to a very bad situation with the core-sampler. We want to have a friendly negotiation where both of us—B.S.I. and ourselves—can benefit in regards to all the benefits that can be derived of the sugar cane.”


Ortega says that they have written the Prime Minister and the ASR to intervene in the matter. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Not all sweet in sugar industry; Cane Farmers Association suspends negotiation”

  1. busha says:

    are u frickin kidding me????? GREADY MOFO’s… u done sell di cane man!!!!

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