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Sugar-0003Previously we told you about the work being done to improve the growth and sustainability of the sugar industry and its stakeholders. Earlier this year, we aired the first Post-Crop Conference held by BSI/ASR. That event saw the participation of over 350 persons including cane farmers, business men and women and government representatives.

 

Among the many topics discussed included increased efficiency and the reduction of the cost of production. For this to happen, BSI/SR has presented an action plan to overcome the challenges leading up to 2017 and beyond that consists of eight measures the company feels must be implemented. International Advisor for the ASR Group, Mac McLachlan gave us an update of that effort in a recent interview.


Mac McLachlan, International Advisor ASR Group


“We are in the process of formulating this eight point plan which looks at how range the different bottlenecks for industry growth some have to do with the mill, some have to do with the farmers, some have to do with the investment climate, some have to do with the regulatory environment in which the sugar industry operates, we are in contact with the government and we are in contact with the PUP about that plan and we hope that in the near future that we be able to launch that as a contribution to the discussion of where we need to go in the future.”


The key objective of the plan is to improve the industry. It doesn’t quite end there however. McLachlan says the process is looking at improving the national economy.


Mac McLachlan, International Advisor ASR Group


“Some of the challenges that are coming up in 2017 and that it lead up to 2017 it is far broader than the sugar industry, the Belizean economy has a number of shock that it need to prepare for at that time including a falling off of revenue of petroleum, a number of other shock to the economic system, if we can get the sugar industry to a point where it is becoming more competitive and productivity is better and we growing the industry that will make a really big impact on the national economy of Belize, it will bring in greater foreign currency exchange earnings in the country and if we can get the climate right we can proceed with our investments here and will improve the direct amount of foreign investment to the country and all of these have a major impact on Belize’s economy as a nation because of course the sugar industry is a major component of the national economy so I think that when we look at these issues we have to see sugar as part of a national economic interest for Belize.”


To make the plan a success, McLachlan says there must be full cooperation among all industry stakeholders to confront the challenges ahead.

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