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Home » Agriculture, Economy, Environment » A.S.R./B.S.I. Flips Blame to B.S.C.F.A., says Sugar Cane Farmers Are Stalling C.A. Negotiations
Nov 10, 2022

A.S.R./B.S.I. Flips Blame to B.S.C.F.A., says Sugar Cane Farmers Are Stalling C.A. Negotiations

The Belize Sugar Industries Ltd. has set a tentative date of December nineteenth to start the 2022/2023 season.  The announcement was made today during a press conference called by A.S.R/B.S.I. to address a number of criticisms being made by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association against the company. Last night, we told you that B.S.C.F.A. is accusing A.S.R./B.S.I. of foot-dragging. The sugar cane farmers association asserts that the process for selecting a mediator to finalize negotiations towards a new commercial agreement has been delayed because the management of A.S.R. /B.S.I. has been unresponsive. They allege that the millers are attempting to corner farmers in an attempt to force them to sign a commercial agreement that is only favorable to the company. Well, in addressing those accusations, today Mac McLachlan, the Vice President of International Relations at A.S.R. /B.S.I., told reporters that they have made the necessary submission and that contrary to reports; B.S.C.F.A. has been stalling the process.


Mac McLachlan

Mac McLachlan, V.P. Intl Relations, A.S.R./B.S.I.

“I have to be careful about what I say about mediation, because we had agreed with the B.S.C.F.A. that we would not go into great details about that issue. But, the B.S.C.F.A. Chairman has commented. It is in all of our interest to get this issue resolved. Nobody wants to have interruptions to the next crop, least of all the mills, least of all the cane farmers. The prices are pretty good right now and it would be a travesty if we ended up in another illegal blockade as we did last December. When it comes to mediation, all I can tell you is that there is a name around and we have agreed it and we have been waiting several days now for the B.S.C.F.A. to respond. So, I am not sure about foot dragging. I think the mediation could have started by now and welcome it because anybody who looks at the facts and the figures that underpins what would become a commercial agreement would very much see things for what they are and that is that a lot of the investment we have made over the last four to five years is really helping to grow the pie so that everybody gets a good share of it and I think the cane price for this current, last crop, is testament to that. There is not many people get a thirty percent pay rise which is the equivalent to what happened there. We don’t want any kind of interruptions, any problems, we want to have a fair outcome and all along we have offered a series of suggestions to B.S.C.F.A. and frankly if anyone has been dragging feet it has been the B.S.C.F.A. who has been very slow to respond to some of those issues and have continuously failed to prove any kind of economic rationale for what their demands are which would amount to a transfer of around about twenty million Belize dollars from the mil to the farmers.”


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