Yesterday we showed you a clip of the Prime Minister in the House of Representatives where he criticized the BSCFA and its Vice Chairman, Alfredo Ortega for the recently reduced quota in the purchase of Fair Trade sugar, citing that the association needed to get its act together. And yesterday while we spoke to Ortega on the Commercial Agreement, we asked for his reaction on the matter. In the following clip, for context we’ll show you both verbal exchanges, that of PM in the House of Representatives and Ortega’s response.
Honorable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize
“The Fair-Trade premiums are not paid to the poor cane farmer as you well know, they are paid to the Association and it is as a consequence of the irregularities and mismanagement of the Association that decertification has occurred for the second time in the short history of Fair Trade, what is in the window five years and this is the second time, the BSCFA lead by your people, people like Ortega who contested a PUP convention to try to become the standard bearer for Orange Walk North and lost terribly, people like Ortega and the one to whom he lost Munchi Cervantes, it is under the stewardship that people like that that the BSCFA lost its certification, lost its FLOCERT for the second time and I make the point again unless they can regain that certification it doesn’t matter whether the Fair Trade Premiums are reduced because if they are big or they are small they can’t get nothing, not a penny so tell them first of all to get their house in order.”
Alfredo Ortega – Vice Chair, BSCFA
“Clearly it seems to show that the Prime Minister is not well informed on what the Fair Trade standards are all about and I can clearly say that it is no mismanagement of the Association that suspension it is not a decertification it is a suspension and the administration is clearly working regardless of who it is we are working as an Association working for all the cane farmers and we are doing our utmost best to be the best transparency that we can apply and the best accountability that we can apply within the organization.”
Viewers may recall that last two weeks, Tate & Lyle wrote to BSCFA stating that the reduction in quota, from 65,000 tons to 10,000 tons purchased for the EU market will be effective in the upcoming season.
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