Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Agriculture, Economy, Featured, People & Places » What Does High Court Decision Mean for Sugar Regulator?
Aug 8, 2023

What Does High Court Decision Mean for Sugar Regulator?

Godfrey Smith

Justice Patricia Farnese’s decision is that annual payments made to the Sugar Industry Control Board are, in essence, illegal.  But what does it mean for the regulator whose operations are funded, in large part through, these payments from B.S.I.?  Senior Counsel Smith responded to that question, as well as the decision of the High Court decision that a cane farmer does not need to be a member of an association in order to deliver sugarcane to the miller.


Godfrey Smith SC, Attorney-at-law

“This situation has been in place for decades, as you know, but there was an ability to strike a happy medium.  That has changed and so BSI, my clients, decided, “Well look, if this is how it’s going to be, we’re going to challenge those aspects that are unconstitutional.”  So that’s the most significant finding coming out of this, that SICB, the Sugar Industry Control Board revenue stream for its operations is unconstitutional, null and void.  A possible run-on effect of that, if a court declares, listen, that law, that section of the law under which you have been taking a million or so from somebody each year [is] null and void, [it] didn’t exist, the obvious implication is that you might have to return those monies. It also held that where the Sugar Industry Act says that if a cane farmer can’t produce seventy-five tons a year, you might have your license revoked, that that’s unconstitutional.  It also went on to find that where the Sugar Industry Act holds that in order to be able to deliver your cane to the manufacturer, you have to be on a cane register and to be on that cane register you have to be a member of an association.  That’s the practical effect and the court ruled, to the extent that that is the position, that is unconstitutional.  So, in a sense, you know, it‘s a new ruling but those who have been involved in that industry for many years, knew that this point would come because the act is badly in need of modernization.”


Earlier today, B.S.I. issued a release stating that it is, “considering the impact of the ruling on its operations and that of industry stakeholders.  B.S.I. strongly believes that regulation should encourage positive reform and industry modernization.  This is imperative if Belize’s northern sugar industry is to thrive for the benefit of all its stakeholders”.

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed