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Aug 27, 2014

ASR Deals Farmers a Crippling Blow

Sugar cane farmers have been dealt a crippling, and completely unexpected blow by Tate and Lyle sugars, a member of the ASR group. The terrible news came by letter dated August twenty-sixth – one day ago – and is broken down into bad news and worse news. First the bad news…the company informs the B.S.C.F.A. that it will be purchasing only ten thousand tons of sugar under the Fairtrade agreement. The letter cites market forecasts. For the sake of comparison, last crop Tate and Lyle purchased sixty-five thousand tons. Farmers, through the B.S.C.F.A., receive one hundred and twenty Belize dollars per ton of Fairtrade sugar…so do the math. Last year, farmers received seven point eight million…this year they’ll receive one point two million. As we said, the news is unexpected and the B.S.C.F.A. is reeling, and today Vice-Chairman of the Committee of Management Fred Ortega told us this position by the company will be disastrous for the association and disastrous for the industry.


Alfredo Ortega, Vice Chairman, Committee of Management

Alfredo Ortega

“In regards to the association it will really have a negative impact because that means that with this amount there will be a reduction in our staff, so that means that many people will have to go home and that means that they won’t have any job with the association anymore. In regards to the industry it really will create a situation in the industry because there will be a reduction in finances that have been used for industry development in regards to production and other situations within the industry so it will really create a negative impact to the association and also in the industry and by extension to the country of Belize. This is something that I cannot believe one hundred percent is because of the market. Because since we have been Fairtrade certified the least they have purchased from us, well sugar from Belize under the Fairtrade umbrella has been fifty-thousand tons. When we just started then the first two years, we sold all our sugar under the Fairtrade umbrella, and thereafter they certified Fiji and then Guyana and Jamaica, and that brought us a reduction in regards to the amount being bought from us, but there was an increase last year to sixty-five thousand tons, so coming onto this year to ten thousand tons is really something that is unbelievable, even though we know that the market plays an important role in this issue, but I think going way down to ten thousand tons is very low.”

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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2 Responses for “ASR Deals Farmers a Crippling Blow”

  1. charlie says:

    Don’t panic, there are other markets. start looking.

  2. mark pech says:

    The BSCFA staff have been taking this organization as a piggy bank. The members out of the blue now own nice houses and vehicles. They use the organization vehicles for personal errants dropping the their wife to work and kids to school with the cane farmers gasoline. There was over 70 thousand dollars misappropriated and nothing is being said. The whole set of crooks need to be changed. The organization went from Guatemala to Guatepeor.

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