The discussions on the future of the sugar industry continue and yesterday representatives of the government, including Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, met with representatives of the BSI/ASR group. Mac McLachlan, international advisor for the ASR group spoke with us after the meeting siting that it was more of an informative session with the government officials.

Screen_Shot_2014-09-30_at_8.16.05_PMMac McLachlan – International Advisor, ASR Group

“It was an opportunity to share among the industry stakeholders the real challenges ahead and that the industry has in Belize, we were able to see what is happening in the external market particular in the EU market where the sugar prices are falling very rapidly and we were able to look at what we need to do in Belize to overcome those issues and there is a whole of interconnected problems but last week we have to improve on our yields sugar cane here, the productivity of that cane to reduce the cost of producing sugar in order to be competitive, the EU market had come down a lot more rapidly when perhaps when we were expecting and we need to be working right now to be preparing for all of those issues and I think the issue on an agreement between BSCFA and BSI and I think we all understood and we were all clear that the crop is only eight weeks away and presently there is no agreement and it is imperative to have that agreement in time to start.”

Dalila Ical – Reporter

“What is the government’s role in your opinion, in your view in easing these challenges into the coming crops?”

Mac McLachlan – International Advisor, ASR Group

“I think the government came here at a good faith to get the side together and have a good of a chat and to set the challenge to the industry to refocus on the future and so we welcome that but ultimately as was discussed here today this is an agreement between two sides of the industry , the supplier of the sugar cane and the millers that processes that sugar cane and that we need to look at those issues together and look at it in a business minded way think about a as commercial issue as it is remembering that we are all involved here in a commercial business which is dictated to a certain extend but by market conditions and therefore ultimately this is something that we need to treat it as a commercial agreement between the cane supplier and the cane processors.”

BSI and BSCFA representatives are scheduled to meet on October ninth to continue the revenue sharing negotiations for bagasse.

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