BSI made the unprecedented presentation of their final position surrounding the negotiations with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association by going directly to cane farmers with a new contract. That was on Monday and following their announcement, the company officials have met with farmers from Orange Walk and Corozal.

 

One of the biggest concerns however has been whether the contract is final and if the company will consider and address questions surrounding the contract. In a release issued by the company, it announces that they will extend the consultation period to November 18th to allow for this. ASR Public Relations Representative Mac McLachlan explains.


Screen_Shot_2014-11-14_at_8.08.33_PMMac McLachlan- International Relations Vice President, ASR


“Clearly cane farmers need time to have a look at that agreement and to comment we responded to that request by saying that we will be prepared to have a consultation period on that agreement. Now, clearly there are a number of things in that agreement which for us is very important and for the future of the industry and we are prepared to be flexible where we can and prepared to listen to cane farmers but there will be issues on which we are very clear that will need to be concluded in order to move the industry forward. However, we have given the consultation until the 18th of November to receive cane farmers views and we have made very clear in the media how cane farmers can express those views and send us all their comments and then we will issue a new agreement and then again we will seek cane farmers agreement to that new agreement and this should take us up until the 28th of November to access whether or not we have enough farmers interested and enough cane to begin the crop.”


Dalila Ical- Reporter


“So does this mean in a nutshell that this contract can see some changes by the 28th”?

Mac McLachlan- International Relations Vice President, ASR


“Yeah obviously when we say we are listening cane farmers that is exactly what we are doing. There are certain issues that which we I think are not going to be able to move entirely in the cane farmer’s direction and I am sure that in many of these situations that the end of the day in order to move the industry there must be some areas where we agree to differ.”


Any farmer or groups of farmers who wish to agree to the terms of the contract and sign are to present the signed documents by Friday November 28th. BSI will be assessing if sufficient cane has been signed up for an effective start of crop.  As explained, a minimum sugar cane supply of 6,000 tons per day is required to effectively operate the Tower Hill Sugar Mill. If this is achieved, BSI will subsequently inform participating cane farmers of arrangements for the start of the 2014/15 crop.

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