Today there is no saying when the apparent impasse between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and BSI/ ASR will end over proposed amendments to the current commercial agreement laid on the table by the milling company to invest 22 million dollars into the factory.
The last we heard about the issue was that the BSCFA had sent a letter to BSI/ASR dated Monday July 31st where the association makes the position of its members, in regard to the current proposal, known. The letter did not bear good news because while members of the association welcomed the 22 million dollars investment they are in total disagreement with the proposed amendments. In return the association had proposals of their own and they made those known in the letter.
BSCFA’s response prompted a meeting between both entities on August 4th in which no agreement was reached, in fact it seems as if there is more confusion. CTV3 News has received a copy of a letter dated August 8th, addressed to Chairman of the Committee of Management of BSCFA, Adalid Wicab.
In that letter BSI highlights several key points that have been raised in relation to the proposal currently on the table, including clarification to the summation that BSI will pay farmers $2 more per ton for their cane if the investment of 22 million dollars goes through.
BSI clarifies that the company did not “offer to pay an additional sum of $2 per ton” but is instead proposing to make the investment of 22 million Belize dollars, which in turn is estimated to increase the payment that growers would otherwise receive in a given year, by approximately $2 per ton.
In the letter BSI also reiterates that the factory will ‘NOT accept’ any cane without a cane purchase agreement being in place. BSI adds that while they are open to view the concerns of the BSCFA, it wishes to preserve the revenue structure set out in the existing agreement adding that the company has proposed certain amendments to cement that revenue structure in place for the duration of the agreement for the ‘specific purpose’ of providing BSI the certainty required to continue to make investments in the mill that would benefit all stakeholders, particularly cane farmers.