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Jan 16, 2015

ASR Will Not Sign With B.S.C.F.A.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow called a press conference just before noon stating that government is once again intervening to save the sugar industry. Actually, it wasn’t quite as simple as that. Apparently, even as ASR/B.S.I. announces signing agreements with splinter associations, it has also announced that it can’t sign on with the B.S.C.F.A. just yet. That’s somewhat of an unexpected wrench in the works, but hopefully one which will be dispensed with quickly. There was a whole lot coming out of the PM’s late morning briefing, and we start tonight with the latest obstacle to the start of the sugar crop. Mike Rudon has that story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

On January fourth, a majority of cane farmers at an emergency general assembly of the B.S.C.F.A. rejected the proposed agreement with ASR/B.S.I.  Of course, since then the entire playing field has turned upside down, and now the B.S.C.F.A. is telling ASR/B.S.I. that it has the signatures of over three thousand farmers who are ready and able to deliver cane. But the company has changed the game, and is now saying that it can’t sign with the B.S.C.F.A. on just the basis of those signatures.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“What is in issue, and it is that I discussed with Maclachlan, is ASR’s position that the B.S.C.F.A. must in fact go back to the general assembly and obtain a reversal of the January fourth decision before they can legally be allowed to sign with BSI. Now I must report that in taking this stance ASR claims that it has been legally advised by lawyers in Belize and abroad. On any reckoning, though, the authorization to sign that the B.S.C.F.A.’s Committee of Management received from their membership in branch meetings is overwhelming, but ASR contends that in the opinion of their local and foreign counsels, it is the general assembly of the B.S.C.F.A. that is supreme.”


Now some might say that if this were a boxing match, that would be like kicking an opponent who’s already down for the count, then stomping on his head, then trying to throw him out of the ring. Still, it has given the Prime Minister an opportunity to mount his white charger and come rushing to the rescue.


Dean Barrow

“It is thus a shambolic state of affairs for the B.S.C.F.A. caused solely by the demagoguery, irrationality and terrible legal advice of a minority bunch of megalomaniacs. Government must of course once again intervene to try to save the day, to rescue the B.S.C.F.A. from this existential predicament into which the extremists have placed it because, you see, the real B.S.C.F.A. is the mainstream B.S.C.F.A., the majority B.S.C.F.A., not the misguided Matura/Ortega fringe.”


And so Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he has used his powers of persuasion to suggest to ASR/B.S.I. that there must be some way to bypass this last hurdle to starting the crop…and to do it without having to go to another general assembly meeting where there’s no telling what might happen.


Dean Barrow

“Surely it is not beyond the capacity of the real lawyers, those not of the junior grade, empty vessel variety, to come up with a form of language in which to package the B.S.C.F.A. signing, to give ASR/B.S.I. the kind of comfort, the sort of warranty needed to assure that a signature cannot later be disowned on the basis that it was invalid for the lack of a general assembly vote.”


ASR/B.S.I. has promised to respond to that request shortly, but for now, PM Barrow is confident that the road ahead is, for the most part, cleared of obstacles.


Dean Barrow

“I am confident then that these last remaining hurdles will be cleared. The B.S.C.F.A. will be allowed to sign, and the overdue crop in which every last cane farmer will participate on an equal basis will commence sometime in the week of January twenty-sixth, 2015.”


Prime Minister Barrow maintains also that even though ASR/B.S.I. has signed with individual associations, the B.S.C.F.A. still controls the majority of cane tonnage, so the participation of that Association is critical. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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 Will Not Sign With B.S.C.F.A.”

  1. Hatari says:

    Why is it that every year we have to bail the sugarcane farmers out? They need to get their act together. Maybe they should take some farming notes from the Mennonites. And along comes GOB, like they know what they are doing? Right! What a mess of incompetence!

  2. Belizean to the core says:

    … yet it is on that incompetence that the majority of our foreign earnings in our country are acquired. The reason why we had to bail them on several occasions is simply because without their earnings our economy would in shambles, which points out to the fact that they have been bailing us out all the while. But it doesn’t stop there, many ignorant people pass quick judgment on the issue without putting into context all the fact surrounding the industry. All lot of Belizeans do not know that the factory was previously owned by the workers, yes the workers of BSI. The owned 81% of the shares of the company and still own 17% today. In my view both governments (PUDP) failed to help them properly, even though they gave them financial aid they failed to institute the appropriate corrective measures to ensure that the management of the company was being done in a transparent and accountable manner. This was never done and as direct result of that today an American company owns what was in effect swindled from under the workers of BSI. So if we are to talk about incompetence let’s start at the top of the pyramid from those “decision makers” who ran the dam company into the ground! Don’t be surprised that the level of incompetence, you are making reference to, definitely started with very well educated fools!!!

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