Cane Farmers hoping to sign an agreement with B.S.I. on Wednesday
The BSCFA and B.S.I. will go back to the negotiating table in Orange Walk on Wednesday afternoon. With one week to go before the imposed deadline of January fifteenth, time is running out for all parties. After a meeting last week, the eighteen branch representatives of the BSCFA voted to bring B.S.I. in to talk once again, even though B.S.I. has failed to provide a legally binding commitment to pay for bagasse. So will there be a resolution to the long-standing impasse out of Wednesday’s meeting? Well that’s hard to say at this point. But Vice-Chairman of the BSCFA’s Committee of Management Alfredo Ortega told us via phone that both parties need the crop season to get underway, sooner rather than later.
Via Phone:Alfredo Ortega, Vice-Chairman, Committee of Management, BSCFA
“We got a letter of correspondence from B.S.I. yesterday where they accepted to hold a meeting with us tomorrow 2 PM at Staff Club, Orange Walk. In any case we are unable to get what we are looking for tomorrow we will be holding a general; meeting with the farmers informing them on Sunday what transpired in the meeting which will be held tomorrow and from thereafter we will see what the decision taken by the farmers and from there we will be moving forward. We have not received that in writing and we are hoping that tomorrow we can get that because that is the basis of our meeting tomorrow and as I said before we are looking forward to that but if that doesn’t happen then we will be looking forward to have a meeting with the farmers because as you know time is going by. All of us would want a crop but we want a strong commitment from B.S.I. in regards in agreement to bagasse. We have not gotten any indication, we don’t have a direct clarification that there will be any signing of that but we have our lawyers with us tomorrow and we will be looking forward to sign at least an interim agreement in regards to sugar, molasses and bagasse. If we can sign that then that can give us a better mileage or better lining so that we can present something much constructive or more strong to the farmers on Sunday.”
Today Ortega told News Five that there are farmers who are indebted to local banks, and those farmers are agitating for a speedy resolution. But the majority, he says, are still committed to the stance of not budging until B.S.I. is legally bound.