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Dec 21, 2021

S.I.C.B. Says Gazette Notification is the Law

As the sticky situation between B.S.C.F.A. and A.S.R./B.S.I. moves into day-two of the sugar crop opening delay, today we heard from the Chairman of the Sugar Industry Control Board.   Marcos Osorio wrote to the mill last Friday informing them that the sugar crop cannot commence on December twentieth citing, “a need for a publication in the gazette to start the crop.” And while the stakeholders at the mill are saying the gazzeting is a matter of formality, Osorio is saying otherwise.  He says all factors facing the industry, including the current impasse, are being taken into the board’s decision making process.


Marcos Osorio

Marcos Osorio, Chairman, S.I.C.B.

“I think we clearly see that A.S.R. is saying, the gazzeting is a matter of formality. I will say no, it is not a matter of formality, it is law. And also, given the present situation with B.S.C.F.A. and B.S.I./A.S.R., it was imminent that we would have had a troubling start. And, why on earth in the best interest of the industry and our people, and our cane farmers, why we would have allowed the crop to make a start with one of the associations not having a commercial agreement, where the mill has repeatedly over and over stated that come January nineteenth, I would say, January twentieth, B.S.C.F.A. farmers will not be able to deliver cane to the mill because their contract expires January nineteenth. Added to that, we must make it clear to the country that B.S.I./A.S.R. has not been playing in good faith. They had been, since B.S.C.F.A. informed them that they are calling for termination of the contract and to negotiate a new contract, they have had their field officers on the ground intimidating, confusing cane famers of B.S.C.F.A. and pushing them to leave the B.S.C.F.A. and sign with another association. And, they have also told them if you don’t want to join another association, come and sign and individual contract with us. We are open to signing a contract as individual cane farmers. So, we have been saying all these strategies or tactics from the mill as tactics of intimidation to the cane farmers as tactics to break the B.S.C.F.A., as tactics is to further dilute the farmer’s organization, with one primary objective. That primary objective is simply to remove all structures in the industry where the mill is the only one to dictate.”

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