Screen_Shot_2014-07-25_at_8.07.10_PMPresently, negotiations between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited on the payment of bagasse, is at a standstill. There is no telling when negotiations will resume after the membership of the BSCFA rejected BSI’s proposal of 51 cents payment per ton of the by-product used by the company to produce electricity which is then sold to the national grid.

 

During Sunday’s Annual General meeting, which is where cane farmers rejected BSI’s proposal, the association was tasked to resume negotiations to be completed by October 15th with the Sugar Industry Control Board acting as intermediary.


While BSI is willing the to pay cane farmers 51 cents per ton of bagasse, cane farmers are asking for $10.00 but are willing to settle for a little less, how much is left to be seen. The situation has caused uproar in the Sugar Industry as both sides are making it their business to make their story known. And while sentiments vary, we asked Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca to weigh in on the issue. And apparently he is also not satisfied with BSI’s 51 cents per ton of bagasse offer.


Honorable Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition


“Definitely not, I think that the People’s United Party has been very consistent from the very beginning in our support for the BSCFA on this matter, we have said from the very beginning that the cane farmers deserve a fair share of the revenue that is generated from the bagasse, that fair share has to be determined through negotiation, we had agreed and we understand but certainly it has to start at a higher point, the BSCFA had suggested around ten dollar for the BSI/ASR to start at fifty one cents I think it is certainly not acceptable, I think the answer and the solution lies somewhere in the middle and I am very hopeful that both parties can come together to find a solution to this issue very quickly.”


At the same time Fonseca hopes both parties can come to a prompt agreement in order to deal with other important matters that are soon to affect the Sugar Industry.


Honorable Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition


“As we know there are many, many other challenges in the sugar industry especially 2017 when the EU sugar regime will be opened up and beat production and other products will lead to significant reductions in the price of sugar so we have to be prepared for that and we have to deal with these issues now, we have to deal with them very quickly and decisively so that we can begin to prepare for these other more serious challenges that are coming.”


CTV3 News understands that the BSCFA has written a letter to BSI requesting that both parties meet between now and August 15th to resume negotiations. The BSCFA is yet to receive a response from BSI.

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