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Oct 10, 2014

Sugar Cane Impasse Stands

On Thursday the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association met with representative of Belize Sugar Industry/American Sugar Refinery to finalize the new sugar-cane purchase agreement. That agreement has been delayed because the parties have been unable to agree to core facets of it. Of course, perhaps the most glaring issue of contention is the quantum of payment for bagasse, and it was hoped that on Thursday there would be some silver lining in the dark clouds which have hovered over the industry since last year. But it didn’t happen. There was no agreement. According to Ortega, almost all their counter-proposals were rejected, and Thursday was not a good day.


Alfredo Ortega, Vice Chairman, Committee of Management, BSCFA

Alfredo Ortega

“As you know we are disappointed on the way that they are carrying out things and yesterday was just a day that made us very disappointed in the attitude they brought. They want to impose ion us to accept what they are presenting, they don’t want to really look into the matter forward so that both of us could end up wining. Yesterday they came out and said well this is what we have this is what we agreed upon and this is what we want you to accept. Things does go that way because we have five thousand five hundred farmers that we  represent so we can’t come and say yes lets go with what you have. We have to look upon the benefit of the farmers and the situation is that their formula that they are using, they are using the present price of cane, which we are telling them, bagasse is a different situation than the sugar that is extract, the sugar and the molasses. Bagasse is fuel for the plant which is bio-fuel we are telling them use the current situation where you are selling energy to the national grid and based on that then come out with a figure for us. That is where we have been stuck they are just pushing their issue forward in which they want us to accept what they have put out on the table, we are not ready to accept that. Very minor things within the agreement that are in the norm that are generalized but there are some core issue which they are saying they want to claim ownership. We are saying to them, you cannot claim ownership at this time because both of us are looking upon our losses and everything, they are claiming in regards to the investment that they have made but we have also made investment, so investment is not only on their side, investment has also been made by the farmers. So in minor things they agreed upon but on the core issues to have a balance in regards to benefit. Those are the things they want the scale to be more on their side and we are not prepared to do that. We want something that will give a balance, where we will have a win-win situation.”


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3 Responses for “Sugar Cane Impasse Stands”

  1. Belizean says:

    What investment did the farmers do towards the baggase? Mr Ortega, please answer that question. There is not one single penny of direct investment by the farmers toward the baggasse. It is just the most nonsensical argument I’ve ever come across. It’s like the tacos vendor in OW telling me that they will charge me .25 cents more for the tacos because I am using the left over bones in the tacos to feed my dogs.

  2. David says:

    Excuse me, Belizian you ask what investment the farmer did on bagasse! Do you know what constitute sugarcane?. you compare left over bones, please the butcher did sell you bones because he/ahe never made them and its part of the price, For cane let the price be such that bagasse ‘Green Energy’ be part of the price

  3. Colin says:

    If a farmer sells eggs to a restaurant at 50 cents each, and the restaurant uses the eggs to make omelettes selling at 4 dollars each, is the farmer then entitled to a percentage of the restaurant’s profit on the sale of the omelette?
    Of course not; the farmer is paid the cost of producing the egg, plus a fair profit, and the restaurant owner is then free to do whatever he wants with the product that he has purchased. This is the way of the world, BSCFA. How would you feel if the supplier of your fertilizer demanded, after selling it to you, that he should have a share of profit that you make on your cane?

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