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Dec 8, 2021

ASR/BSI to look at Cane Payment Formula

Will there Sugar Cane processing season begin on schedule this month? Following its meeting with the Prime Minister, John Briceno on Monday, today the Belize Sugar Industry Limited says it is hopeful that their trade dispute with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association will be resolved before the expiration of the current Commercial Agreement in January. ASR/BSI is preparing to meet with the association’s leaders next week to discuss changes to the formula for payment to cane farmers. BSI will present their proposal to BSCFA at the upcoming meeting. For context, in late October BSCFA recommended a change in the price of cane per ton from a formula based on a distribution of the Net Stripped Value to a formula based on a distribution of the Gross Proceeds.  BSI says they have since designed a “simplified approach” to the payment formula, in accordance with the association’s recommendation. They are now hopeful that this new formula has the potential to bring this ongoing impasse to an end. Without giving any details on what this new formula looks like, Mac McLachlan, Vice President of International Relations met with the media today via zoom.


Mac McLachlan

Mac Maclachlan, Vice President of International Relations, BSI/ASR

“The BSCFA has made proposals for some very radical changes to the way the cane payment formula works. Government has asked us and BSCFA to consider a way forward together and also to ensure the crop can take place and there won’t be any interruptions to the crop. So, we were able to meet with the Prime Minister on Monday and to explain we have looked at what was proposed and are prepared to have a discussion with BSCFA based on their concept. And, I don’t want to get into too much detail, because we have reached out with them with a request for a meeting next week. And it would be unfair to give too much details of what we are looking at. But, I think we may have found a way to do two things, one of them is to look at a new approach to the formula, looking at the way BSCFA presented that, that would do away with a lot of the conjecture and false accusations that have been leveled at this mill over the time I have been working here over the last eight years, concerning how much is deducted from cane farmers for logistics, freights, and manufacturing and higher values sugars. So, we think we found a way with doing away with all of that, having fast simpler agreements that meets the farmer’s concerns about not understanding or agreeing with some of those deductions, but at the same time not transferring value form mill to farmers.”

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