The start of the Sugar Cane Crop season is still pending since a compromise has not been met, but today the Prime Minister who returned from his personal leave yesterday, met with reporters from the City to give his sentiments on the sugar impasse. As it stands currently, having removed the offending or controversial sentence in clause 2.3 determining cane quality, BSI is waiting to hear an approval from the American Sugar Refinery. And while there is more wait for all stakeholders, the PM suggested that after speaking with officials at BSI, they are closer to coming to a resolution.


PMHonorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize


"Need to go back for a second vote on precisely the draft... on precisely the points that would now have been resolved in favor of the farmers in accordance with the position taken by the farmers. I do get the sense that there are those who clearly don't want to see an agreement sign including the NTUCB who I have to say is absolutely irresponsible in a way that I find mindboggling. But I can't say what is or is not to happen in terms of this move to have on the part of those that are clearly anti-the agreement, second bite at the cherry. I would hope that that doesn't happen, but I really don't know what the rules say and what the rules don't say."


As of newstime, no word has been gotten on any approval from ASR. The PM is optimistic that an agreement signing will take place before the year is out and soon thereafter a crop season will commence.


Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize


"To me to be the single remaining point of contention is one that I feel can be resolved and in terms of the conversation I had with Mr. Montalvo last night and again this morni9ng just before 10 o' clock. I say in very cautious fashion that I believe we are closer to a resolution certainly than we were yesterday and over the weekend. I gave him the form of words that it appears will satisfy the farmers. The two lawyers, his lawyers Michael Young and Chris Coye were to ensure that they were on the same page where that is concern and of course Mr. Montalvo needed to get naturally the authorization from his principals to proceed. At 10 o' clock he said to me that he hope to have a definitive answer for me by noon today. If as I hope that answer is yes, I have ask the deputy to communicate to the farmers or to Mr. Cansino, the chairman of the management committee that this is where we are and that if we get a positive answer by noon hopefully the directors can meet later this afternoon, agree to sign off since they would have gotten the language they are demanding and hopefully thereafter we can have a crop possibly at the start of next week if not sooner."


According to the Prime Minister, BSI overlooked the 2010 memorandum of understanding that first set up the tripartite method of industry oversight where it was first agreed that the SCPC would be final judge in disputes such as these. Under that agreement BSI did not have a right to reject cane deliveries. The P.M. said that if things go as he expects the agreement can be ratified by the BSCFA’s directors, so there will be no need for additional emergency meetings for the whole BSCFA membership to approve the agreement again, as they already have.

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