As the BSCFA continues to iron out the terms of the agreement with BSI, at this juncture, it’s all deja vu as once again as the crop will not see a start until in the New Year. This time around, however, the association and farmers have a new ally, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Member Audrey Matura Sheppard has not been in the least bit reticent about their position in the matter and in their opinion of BSI and the government even. But how much influence can or will the NTUCB have on the BSCFA as they move forward on matter? We asked Cansino and this is what he responded.

Screen_Shot_2014-12-24_at_6.02.43_PMEzekiel Cansino- Chairman, BSCFA, COM


“Sinceramente, no podría yo decir exactamente cuanta influencia podrían tener pero hemos tenido contacto de varios caneros y es variable el sentimiento que ellos están teniendo en estos momentos unos dicen pues es bueno tener el apoyo de estas organizaciones y otros están diciendo que en realidad es un movimiento político y hay diferentes sentimiento del canero ahorita y no podría yo decir cómo estamos en realidad con todo esto.”

Dalila Ical – Reporter

“Entonces no se podría decir hasta este punto no se podría decir que se está considerando mucho la posición de la NTUCB o lo que ellos quisieran pelear con ustedes?”

Ezekiel Cansino

“No estamos como quien dice cien por ciento considerando este apoyo, sinceramente.”

Yesterday the NTUCB again declared its support and solidarity with the BSCFA in a press release in which it sought to reiterate the function of the Sugar Industry Control Board.

The point of interest here is SICB’s authority in accordance with the Sugar Industry Act 2001 in which it is, in simple words, capable under law of determining the start and end of crop. In the release the NTUCB states, quote “This unequivocally empowers the Government of Belize (GOB) through the SICB; to declare a starting date for crop season and represents a solid alternative which the National Trade Union Congress of Belize strongly calls on GOB to pursue as an alternative and legal avenue. At this juncture, the most important thing is to get the farmers to begin crop and reduce further delay to the 2014-2015, sugar cane season.

Initiating the crop season, perhaps as early as Saturday December 27, 2014 will show good faith, avoid derailment of the process and will leave room for the farmers to continue to negotiate a favourable agreement that would engage them in a significantly reduced atmosphere of duress and would advance them closer to a level playing field,” end of quote.

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