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Dec 23, 2014

P.M. Barrow says B.S.I. and B.S.C.F.A. are Closer to Reaching a Resolution

Tonight, the dispute between the B.S.C.F.A. and ASR/B.S.I. remains unresolved. The breakdown in negotiations comes after a long and hard fought agreement in principle by both parties, and from all accounts the bad guy in this scenario is B.S.I.  Still, in the past days there have been attempts to bridge the gap caused by a troublesome clause inserted in the agreement by factory representatives, though at last word the gap remains. We’ve heard both sides of the debate, but tonight we hear from Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He says that he’s personally been working with both sides, and they’re closer to resolution today than they were yesterday.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“You all know that the farmers complain that B.S.I. inserted language into the draft agreement that would change the rules with respect to the determination of quality…which determination of course gives right to the rejection of cane that’s deemed not suitable. We put out a press release in which we made clear that on this issue we stand very firmly with the farmers. I’ve heard B.S.I. say that that language is a reflection of what has always been there in the historical agreement between the two sides. That may well be so…I believe I saw a specific reference to a 2002 agreement…but what B.S.I. omitted to mention is that in 2010 when government intervened to try and rescue the industry and to forge what became a tripartite agreement captured in a memorandum of understanding a protocol was established to deal with this question of cane quality. That was when the SCPC was in fact formed and mandated to supervise the process. So whatever might have been the position in 2002, those that are far more familiar with the industry than I am tell me that in any case on the ground operationally there had been a departure from the 2002 agreement, but in any case there is no doubt that by way of that MOU a new protocol was agreed, established and became operational.”

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