HomeAgricultureB.S.I. Attorney Says Inquiry as Invasive as Sugar Import/Export Regulation

B.S.I. Attorney Says Inquiry as Invasive as Sugar Import/Export Regulation

Godfrey Smith

B.S.I. Attorney Says Inquiry as Invasive as Sugar Import/Export Regulation

In March 2023, the Government of Belize announced its decision to launch a Commission of Inquiry with the explanation that it was to modernize the sugar industry. The decision came after the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and A.S.R/B.S.I made presentations to the government. While the B.S.C.F.A has welcomed the idea of the inquiry, the other party hasn’t. Today, the attorney for A.S.R/B.S.I., Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith, told reporters that he views the Commission of Inquiry as having the same over-reaching purpose and intent as the amended Sugar Industry Import/Export Regulation.


Godfrey Smith, S.C., Attorney for B.S.I

“I view this intended Commission of Inquiry in almost the same vein as the just struck down regulation. The regulations claim to be innocuous, simple regulations for regulating industry. In reality, it was a disguise to cover an attempt for digging to be a size business, we say.  Similarly,  it has my beliefs,  and I stand to be corrected when I see the final truth. of reference  that the purpose of that commission of inquiry will be for the same thing  to dig into BSI’s guts, get it to produce all its sensitive commercial information for one purpose and one purpose only, which is to aid the BSEFA in its commercial dispute  with BSI. And that would be a wholly inappropriate, wrongheaded and improper use of the power to issue of a commission of inquiry. BSI is a private commercial entity and the cane farmers associations, each of them – this isn’t a public association. These are – it’s owned by the cane farmers. They work their plot of land, the money they get goes into their pockets. It doesn’t go into any consolidated revenue fund or any public fund that would require the government to say, look, this is a deeply-public problem, and therefore, a commission of inquiry is necessary. So it’s going to be, in my view, an attempt to get at what it can’t otherwise get at. And if that is the case, then certainly I would be advising BSI that it must challenge the issuance of that commission of inquiry immediately as it is issued.”{

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