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Nov 28, 2023

BSCFA Won’t Budge on 4-year Commercial Agreement with B.S.I.

The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association continues to reiterate the position that its members have taken ahead of the 2023-2024 sugar crop.  Despite the need to sign a commercial agreement for the sale and purchase of sugar cane, BSCFA maintains that it will only sign on to a one-year contract with the miller.  For its part, the Belize Sugar Industries Limited has submitted a fourth supplement leading up to the new sugar season.  Convening a press conference via Zoom, Chief Executive Officer Oscar Alonzo expressed BSCFA’s disappointment with B.S.I.’s latest proposal.


Oscar Alonzo

Oscar Alonzo, C.E.O., Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association

“BSI has sent us a fourth addendum for this coming crop, to enable the crop to begin, an agreement for the purchase of sugar cane.  And we notice that that addendum, as they, themselves, stated in their correspondence to us that it was the same proposal that they had submitted to us in August 2021, when we had indicated to them of our intention to negotiate a new commercial agreement.  So we were a bit disappointed because with the experiences we have had over the year and a half of negotiation which failed, we felt that they might have understood the seriousness and the importance that this commercial agreement and the proposals that we have put forward means to our cane farmers in terms of their financial and economic interests.  However, as we had indicated, there is no basis for us, for any negotiations to continue and we had requested that the government intervenes.  The government had proceeded to establish a ministerial subcommittee to try to see how they could get the parties, ourselves and BSI, to move this process of the commercial agreement forward and, at the same time, look at the issue of the Fairtrade premium with which we were being discriminated [against], in terms of the payments to our association for the past two crops.”

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