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Oct 18, 2022

Independent Mediator to Resolve Impasse between B.S.I. and B.S.C.F.A.

The Belize Sugar Industries and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association have agreed to employ an independent mediator, with only two months left before the opening of the 2022/2023 sugar crop. It is a critical step in their negotiations towards finalizing a commercial agreement. Both parties have not been able to see eye to eye on a number of issues, including payment for sugar cane and compensation for bagasse. They have maintained these differences for the better part of the last two years. At the start of the 2021/2022 sugar crop, B.S.I. and B.S.C.F.A. agreed to extend the expiration date of the last commercial agreement until the end of the sugar crop. They intended to finalize the commercial agreement at the end of the crop. But, months have elapsed since the closure of the season and only two meetings have been held, none of which proved to be fruitful. When we caught up with Shawn Chavarria, the Director of Finance at B.S.I., today in Orange Walk, he told us that he remains hopeful that a new commercial agreement will be finalized before the start of the next crop. 


Shawn Chavarria

Shawn Chavarria, Director of Finance, B.S.I.

“We have agreed to invite an independent mediator to assist the negotiations. We are trying to finalize at the mo the terms of reference of that mediation. What is key is that the mediation is independent and it is mutually agreed by both parties. So, we are hoping that we can finalize that you know very soon, hopefully this week, and then we can embark on getting that mediator to see if we can help mediate the gap, because at the moment there is a wide gap between ourselves and the B.S.C.F.A. We have tried a couple follow up meetings to see if we can get close on the core issues but we haven’t been able to make progress on the core matters. So, with this we are hoping we can get a bit more forward movement to see if we can get an agreement signed at the start of the next crop which we are aiming for sometime the third week of December.”



“Is there a name that the company has identified as yet?”


Shawn Chavarria

“No, we are searching. The first step is agreeing the terms of reference. We first need to agree with that then once we agreed on that then it’s a matter of putting forward some credible names and then both sides mutually agreeing to one person.”

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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