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Feb 9, 2021

Climate Change Hits Sugar Production Hard!

Santander explained that the unprecedented rains last year wreaked havoc on the sugarcane in the fields and made conditions difficult for the company.  Today, the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Finance Officer spoke about the cost of climate change on their operations and productions.  They estimate that the rains last November will cost the company three to five percent in production yields in the 2021 harvest.


Jose Rodriguez, C.E.O., Santander

“During the harvest season at the end of May we had some rains that were very difficult to finish the harvest with good numbers. We got more than two hundred and fifty millimeters in three days and that caused a lot of damage to the quality of the cane and after that we had to finish the harvest – the delays were in those days because the conditions in the fields were very bad and then we had the two hurricanes at the end of the year with the major floorings that we have seen in fifty years – the worst floodings we have …it has been the worst.  Luckily, the cane was already big so the damages we estimated are going to be between three and five percent of the production but if the hurricanes had come before, really the damages would have been very big so right now we are overcoming that situation. We had some delays on the harvest initiation season because the humidity conditions were very bad; roads; infrastructure were really messed up during those two hurricanes.”


David Rodriguez, C.F.O., Santander

“The thing is we have to extend the harvest season until the month of July and in May it starts raining and we have a decrease of about twenty percent in the quality of the juices in that month – so maybe like in that month we ground like a hundred metric tonnes of cane so we have a reduction of fifteen to twenty percent of that cane that we grind the final month. And like Jose was referring to, the flooding that happened in November is going to affect between three to five percent of the production yields of the 2021 harvest.”

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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