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Dec 31, 2013

Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association says B.S.I. is being duplicitous

For the first time in history, the year will end without the start of a sugar cane crop season. In fact, at this point there is still much uncertainty and tension between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and Belize Sugar Industry and American Sugar Refinery. On B.S.I.’s part, there is the reluctance to sign a legally binding commitment to pay for bagasse, even though the company has stated that it is willing to negotiate an agreement for payment of bagasse. On the side of the BSCFA, there is disagreement with three provisos proposed by B.S.I. – one, that any payment for bagasse would finally resolve the issue of payment for by-products; two, that a new cane purchase agreement would clarify ownership of cane and all of its components; and three, that any negotiation will not be deemed to prejudice either party’s legal position. So as the year ends that is where both parties stand, with the final 2013 volley fired off via press release from the BSCFA. That release expresses that B.S.I. is duplicitous to state on one hand that the BSCFA is free to pursue its claim in court, while on the other hand refuses to sign a legally binding agreement for bagasse payment. The release also states that, “The BSCFA is appalled at the audacity of B.S.I. to try to hoodwink the cane farmers into accepting their condition that the payment would finally resolve the issue of payment for by-products under the Memorandum of Agreement, in exchange for a yet unknown amorphous payment for their bagasse.” And finally, BSCFA throws all responsibility for the delay of crop in B.S.I.’s lap, stating, “The BSCFA hereby clarifies that it is B.S.I. who is causing the stalling of the commencement of the sugarcane crop by first delaying the negotiations which the BSCFA had been urging them to begin since December of 2012, and now by refusing to unconditionally make a payment for bagasse…”

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