On a yearly basis Belizeans consume some 13,500 tons of sugar that works out to over 100 pounds of sugar per year per person. So far the Belize Sugar mill has produced 11,500 tons of white sugar and has 4,500 tons in storage. Thats well above the countrys consumption level and according to B.S.Is Factory Manager John Gillett the factory is still producing white sugar which means that there is no sugar shortage as is being reported. The problem, according to Gillett, is that sugar is finding its way across the border instead of supermarket shelves.

johngJohn Gillett- BSI Factory Manager

“At this very moment we are also producing plantation white you may ask how are we producing plantation white and the crop is finished? We are re-melting some of the brown sugar that we have to produce that plantation white and we will produce up to the amount that we are set out to do and when we have produced that amount that will be sufficient for the country for the rest of the year until the crop starts in late November or December. The problem is that sugar is not finding its way to the stores as we would want. The sugar is purchased by certain amount of customers and may I say here that we cannot facilitate all customers say they want to come and by a sack of sugar we cannot do that because the logistics will not allow for that to happen so we are completely dependent on the people who have been purchasing the sugar over the years. If this sugar would find its way into the stores then there will be no shortage of sugar but you know the price difference over our borders is so much of a lucrative market that many people would be tempted to make sure that the sugar reaches that market so that they make more profit so that is the problem at this time.”

CTV3 News understands that Belizes sugar is being sold across the border for approximately $100 per sack. In recognizing that the sale of sugar across the border has become a lucrative business CTV3 News understands that there are certain measures that will be put in place by government, but those measures have not been revealed.

John Gillett- BSI Factory Manager

“I cannot say what will be the way forward but something must be done to ensure that consumers get the amount of sugar as far as the consumer might think that there will be a shortage of sugar eventually or that we might run out no that will not happen. We have a certain amount of sales per month and we will ensure that only that amount of sales is being made so we will not just sell out whatever is in the sugar storage and then leave the country without sugar for months that will not be the case.”

Despite the fact that Belizes sugar is being sold across the border Gillett assures the public that there will be no sugar shortage.

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