The atmosphere within the sugar industry of Belize continues to be tense. BSI waits for farmers to sign contracts individually or as harvest groups while rejecting the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association’s request for another interim agreement to enable the start of crop while negotiations continue. BSI has also rejected the proposal of an external expert’s intervention into the matter.
The BSCFA has sent a letter to the Sugar Industry Control Board on the matter of bringing in an external expert and as we understand it, the SICB has answered saying they have been unable to convene and discuss the matter and will do so until November 25th. Earlier, we had reported that the BSCFA had given the SICB until tomorrow to give a response but now that wait will be extended to the 25th of this month. In the meantime, the eighteen branch chairmen of the BSCFA met today with the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega.
While we have not been able to get formal comment on the discussion, we have been reliably informed that nothing really came out of that discussion except for the DPM encouraging the BSCFA to return to the negotiating table with BSI, something BSI has clearly refused to do. What will transpire within the next few days is anyone’s guess but the reality is that time is running out as the next crop was slated to start within the first week of December. Up to now, BSI and BSCFA continue in a deadlock while farmers still refrain from signing the contract presented to them by the company.
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