Tonight problems continue in sugar land as the estimated price for the second payment to cane farmers is still under dispute. The contention between the miller and the producer arose after BSI/ASR announced that the loss in revenue resulting from 3,900 tons of damaged molasses due to Maillards Reaction will be shared between cane farmers and the sugar mill.
As a result cane farmers will pay $281,233.00 equivalent to 65% or $0.22 per ton cane of the cost of molasses lost which amounts to $432,666.
As previously mentioned the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is in total disagreement with having to share the loss and have outlined a number of reasons why cane farmers should not bear the brunt of the cost.
And the People’s United Party is in agreement with cane farmers. In fact in a release issued this afternoon they describe BSI/ASR’s decision to charge cane farmer’s $281,233.00 of the cost of molasses lost.as unjust, unreasonable and outrageous.
In the release the PUP reminds ASR that the agreement signed between the farmers and the company quote “clearly states that the sugar cane belongs to and is the full responsibility of ASR once it arrives at the scales” End quote.
The says the unjust loss of $281,233 to cane farmers comes at a time when farmers are receiving one of the lowest prices in years, even though records show that the world price of sugar is at the highest in 20 years as a result of the drop in world-wide production and as such demands that ASR pay sugar cane farmers $281,233 for molasses lost. In addition, the PUP calls on the Government of Belize and the Sugar Industry Control Board (SCICB) to intervene and to ensure that the commercial agreement be honored.
As for the Maillards Reaction the party rejects and condemns ASR's claims that the deterioration of molasses occurred as a result of farmers delivering poor quality sugar cane.
Backing this sentiment says the PUP, is the fact that lower quality sugar cane has been milled in the past, in particular when BELCOGEN was commissioned in 2010 and the quality of sugar cane was at 12.73 TCTS, the worst in the entire history of the industry; yet there was no occurrence of a Maillard Reaction.
The PUP further states in the release that based on consultations with technical and experienced advisors, the party has confirmed that the Maillard Reaction was as a direct result of ASR's negligence and failure to follow standard procedures during the liquefying stage of the boiling process.
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