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Oct 14, 2021

Cane Farmers Request Meeting with PM

The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association’s (BSCFA) Committee of Management has written to the Prime Minister requesting a meeting on the status of their commercial agreement with the Belize Sugar Industries Ltd. The Association says its members are becoming increasingly frustrated by, quote, “BSI’s attitude to our request for the negotiation of a new commercial agreement.” The Association says it views BSI’s preconditions for any engagement as a delaying and intimidation tactic. BSCFA is one of four sugar cane farmers associations that deliver sugar to BSI. While three of the associations have already signed on to a five years commercial agreement, BSCFA says it would like to negotiate first. One request from the association for negotiation is the recalculation of payments made to small farmers from the gross proceeds. Currently, farmers receive sixty-five percent of the revenue, while the sugar mill received the remaining thirty-five percent. The association is also asking for payments to be made to them on bagasse, which is the waste of the sugar cane typically used to make electricity. BSCFA delivers fifty percent of the sugarcane processed by the mill. This is critical period since the sugar season is scheduled to begin in late December.

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