Among the many changes slated for the near future in the sugar industry is the cut in sugar purchase by Tate and Lyle and that is followed closely by the reduction in preferential prices in the EU market. BSI representatives say that should this upcoming crop be delayed or remain closed; all stake holders in the industry stand to lose considerably. Furthermore, as mentioned before, this year’s crop provides a much needed opportunity to prepare for these changes. International Relations Vice President of ASR Mac McLachlan explains how this works.

 

Screen_Shot_2014-11-10_at_8.26.18_PMMac McLachlan - International Relations Vice President, ASR


“Under the terms of that contract Tate & Lyle sugars will be paying under a hundred Euros roughly more per ton of sugar than Belize could attract at the moment in the if it would be selling sugar directly to the EU market because that is the way contracts work out so the actual value lost to the farmers would be absolutely enormous in that sense now the reason that is important is because as many of you would be aware the traditional recipient of Belize sugars in the EU the market regulations are changing, the prices are going down we haven’t got  a minute to waste to utilize the amount of time left for preferential prices to prepare this industry for the future and I think for that reason alone it would be a complete travesty if there was an interruption to the crop if there was  delay to the crop it could well have an impact to the amount of sugar produced because we would miss the optimal climatic window for manufacturing sugar the minute it starts raining the sucrose content reduces and we are very keen that this should be the best crop ever with what we want to try to do that is why taken this decision.”

 

But how does the factory executive intend this to work? The company is not only offering a contract with farmers for the sale and purchase of sugar cane but has included their proposal for payment for bagasse. This alone poses some difficulty with farmers accepting, let alone signing this new contract. So, if the company does not receive a commitment from all farmers, how feasible is this new option for them?

 

Belizario Carballo – Financial Director


“We estimate that to around 6000 tons of cane for the day to be able to operate to a level of efficiency that would be acceptable and so we need to know how much cane is being signed up to and that the figure can be organize in such a ways for the delivery of minimum 6000 tons in any one day.”

 

Mac McLachlan - International Relations Vice President, ASR


“This is very much in the hands of cane farmers themselves that have to ask themselves the question whether they wish to settle in and deliver their cane but from our perspective we believe that there is a huge amount of interest in doing it that but we will see.”

 

Given the situation, if any percentage of farmers does accept these new terms, what happens to the others is simply that their cane remains in the fields. The offer will be closed on November 28th and the company has started its dialogue with the farmers.

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