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Dec 8, 2021

Cane Farmers Still Hoping BSI Extends Commercial Agreement As Cabinet Recommends

For their part, the Committee of Management of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association lost no time in responding to ASR/BSI’s statements today. This evening they issued a release saying that while the Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) informed Belize Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) about its counter proposals for a commercial agreement, these proposals focus only on two of the proposals submitted by the BSCFA. These are the payment structure for sugar cane and the period of the agreement. They say BSI proposes a payment structure that takes into account the application of a ratio of sixty to forty for the cane farmers and the mill, only in respect of raw sugar that is exported to the European Union market. This, they say, does not include the raw sugar that is sold under the US quota in the US market and any direct consumption sugar sold in the local and export markets, to which the sixty-five to thirty-five ratio on Net Stripped Value will be maintained. The Association finds this proposal by BSI to be, in their word, “untenable” as it does not seek to provide a fair cane payment to cane farmers. BSI continues to propose a period of seven years for the agreement. The cane farmers maintain that this is inflexible and they hope that the government can prevail upon BSI to sign a one-year interim agreement while negotiations are being finalized. Nevertheless, the BSCFA is still willing to negotiate a commercial agreement that would be mutually beneficial to both parties, instead of one party over the other.

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