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Home » Economy, Environment » B.S.C.F.A. and A.S.R./B.S.I. Continues to be At Odds in Commercial Agreement Negotiation
Sep 8, 2022

B.S.C.F.A. and A.S.R./B.S.I. Continues to be At Odds in Commercial Agreement Negotiation

The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and A.S.R./B.S.I. have reached yet another impasse in its negations towards a new Commercial Agreement. Viewers will recall the standoff that sugarcane farmers organized back in December 2021 in front the sugar mill in Orange Walk, after negotiations at the time reached a stalemate. With intervention from the government, both the B.S.C.F.A. and A.S.R./B.S.I. were able to agree to an extension on the expired Commercial Agreement for the duration of the 2021/2022 sugar cane crop season. At the end of the sugar season in July, both B.S.C.F.A. and A.S.R./B.S.I. returned to the negotiation table. Well, only weeks into those negotiations and both parties are already at a deadlock. The new sugar cane season is scheduled to begin in the next four months. Oscar Alonzo, the Chief Executive Officer of B.S.C.F.A., was a guest on Open Your Eyes Morning Show on August eighteenth where he spoke on the impasse.


Oscar Alonzo

Oscar Alonzo, C.E.O., B.S.C.F.A.

“It has not been an easy process as incidents or events led up to that series of activities in December. And, we had hoped that during the period of January to now we would have had a new agreement in place. We still have the same proposals that we had put in place at the beginning, which was five. The matter of how we want to negotiate how the price of cane is being paid, how it is calculated, how it is being paid, how the price of baggase is calculated. Also, we are trying to insert a clause in there that commits B.S.I. to a daily grinding rate that would benefit cane farmers, and, finally the aspect about the length about the agreement. Those are our proposals and B.S.I. has still be adamant during this whole period that it is not prepared to negotiate any clause that implies a transfer of value and even is sticking to that fact that the minimum period is seven years. So, we are at a point where it is practically like a stale mate. We have asked for the intervention of the government. I think you have heard over the news. We met with the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister gives certain commitments that would enable the process to be completed before the end of the new crop. I think a binding commitment has been given for us to get an independent consultant to come in and mediate the process, because we found that further discussions are not leading us anywhere. It is time for an independent consultant to come in.”

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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