The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is being audited by FLOCERT, the global certification and verification body for Fairtrade. The Association had fallen under serious noncompliance earlier this year when, by the mandate of its general assembly, decided to share out over six million dollars to all its members. The Association had even received a letter from Fairtrade representatives warning them of the repercussions for taking such a decision. Auditors are now in Belize and begun their work today. We spoke with Ezekiel Cansino, Chair of the Committee of Management who told us that they having been working hard to ensure that they pass this year’s audit.


ezekiel_cansinoEzekiel Cansino - Chair of the Committee of Management


Los auditors van a estar revisando los papeles del uso del premio y también las minutas de la juntas que se han llevado acabo, sea a nivel del Assembly, de Branch, de division and committee y todo eso se revisa por los auditores. Nosotros tenemos la esperanza de que quedemos siempre certificados y estamos desde Enero después de que ocurrió todo los que paso nosotros hemos estado trabajando para ver como remediar ciertos problemas que tenemos aquí a dentro y de tratar de hacer las cosas antes de que el auditor venga y nos diga pues están mal y nosotros estamos tratando de estar adelantados de todo ellos pero si tenemos la confianza de que vamos a seguir certificados.”


Cansino says that the Association has been focusing on the Child Labour Project, which had been the reason for their prior suspension from Fairtrade. That project is being implemented in YO Creek and San Victor Villages. Cansino says they don’t expect to be failing in that area.


Ezekiel Cansino - Chair of the Committee of Management


Hemos estado trabajando duro y los auditores van a inspeccionar también los canales y van a ir a conversar con los caneros con ciertos branches no con todos pero primer nao vemos de que van a visitar seis branches que han escogido y van a estar visitando y van a espesar desde mañana.”


Auditors will be in Patchakan and Xaibe Villages tomorrow. On Thursday they will be visiting the San Narciso and Orange Walk Branches. By Friday, they will be at Yo Creek and Libertad villages. Auditors will be here until Tuesday of next week. The final results will be made known to the BSCFA in about one month’s time.

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