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Nov 18, 2013

BSCFA and B.S.I. planned meeting…will it happen?

Alfredo Ortega

Late Friday evening, a letter was sent out by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited in reference to the ongoing negotiation with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association on a new agreement. The letter quoted statements made to the media by C.E.O. and Vice President of the BSCFA, Oscar Alonzo and Alfredo Ortega. According to B.S.I., from the onset of the dispute, the company has stated that there is no legal obligation on the part of B.S.I. or BELCOGEN to share the revenue from the sale of electricity with BSCFA. The letter maintains that cane sold to B.S.I. upon delivery becomes B.S.I.’s property and that as a result, the clause in retrospect to the 2002 agreement with the BSCFA, where there should be revenue-sharing from the by-product of the cane does not apply. The letter ends by stating that at a scheduled meeting on Tuesday between both parties, will discuss the claimed payment for bagasse among several other issues. But the BSCFA has other plans and News Five spoke with Vice President, Alfredo Ortega via phone today to get an update.

 

Via Phone: Alfredo Ortega, Vice-President, BSCFA

“They had four things on the agenda. To have a discussion on the agreement, the framework of the agreement and that there will be a presentation of a replanting program and a road network issue and what not. And on the fourth point, they had a discussion about the 2013-2014 crop. So we sent them a letter on Thursday where we were telling them that we are prepared to go to Belize, even though they have not presented any venue where the meeting will be held—but we are prepared to go once and for all once the negotiation will be strictly on the bagasse and the new commercial agreement. And that is where after that they’ve sent that letter late on Friday where they propose on that letter that after revisiting the agenda, they have now proposed that we can meet tomorrow and they will include on that agenda part B. Part A, the four things that they have send from their letter on Monday and B that they are including now in regards to the bagasse with no prejudice and whatnot. It is not very clear—it is just like a talk about it, but not a negotiation. So what we did today, like how they send that very late on Friday evening, today we had a board meeting whereby it was unanimously agreed that we are prepared to attend the meeting once the agenda is the bagasse and the new agreement—nothing else. We have sent that letter today, an open letter which also was sent to the media and different media houses whereby we have proposed to them that we are prepared to go once the agenda of the meeting will be strictly bagasse and the new agreement. And we are awaiting from them to see if there will be any response before five o’clock.”

 

We checked just before news time and according to Ortega, there has still not been a response from B.S.I. and as a result, they will not be attending the scheduled meeting on Tuesday. 

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1 Response for “BSCFA and B.S.I. planned meeting…will it happen?”

  1. Belizean says:

    The farmers are literally “SCREWING” themselves over!! Its a disgrace untold. First the GOB bails out the company, and its worth sh** to them. Then ASR comes and finally puts value in this industry. And its still worth sh** to them. What do they expect? Now BSI can actually pay farmers their cane, and even at a better price, and theyre still *****ing? The cane farmers have proven for years that if they are in control of the factory, it keeps going south. I believe that the sugar industry will not last long if these so called “BSCFA” will continue behaving like kids that got too much candy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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