On Friday we told you about the latest move coming out of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association on requesting of the Prime Minister to sign a Memorandum of understanding between the Association, BSI/ASR and the Government of Belize.
According to the Association, BSI wants to negotiate with the farmers on a payment for bagasse, but the farmers want them to put it in writing that a payment will be made before any meaningful negotiations can begin. And while Ortega said that the MOU was drafted by the Associations Lawyer, that document was sent to the Prime Minister for review and approval.
The BSFCA says it is beneficial to all parties but tonight, there is still no word coming out of the PM’s Office about an agreement to sign. In previous interviews with Vice Chair Fred Ortega, he stated that on the two separate occasions that they met with the PM, he said that whenever they are unable to reach to a dialogue with BSI that he (PM) will be ready to jump into the picture and have something clear where they can both agree upon. Up to news time, no update was given, indicating that the Association is still waiting to hear from the leader of Belize. Meanwhile another point of contention is the start of the crop season which all parties hoped would start on January 15th.
However there are some new developments to report as the Belize Sugar Industries Limited sent a letter to BSCFA around five this evening inviting them to come to the table on Wednesday of this week at two in the afternoon. According to Ortega, in the letter, BSI states that the purpose of the meeting is to start a dialogue on the start of the crop, the payment for bagasse, and the finalization of a new purchase agreement. Ortega says that they remain firm and will not accept anything that’s not favorable for farmers as it relates to the purchase agreement. He adds that once BSI agrees and commits to a payment for bagasse then, and only then, will they discuss a date for the start of the new crop season. We will see what comes out of the meeting and bring the details as they become available.
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