Since we were on the topic of direct consumption sugar exports, we also asked the CEO to comment on the current stalemate between the Belize Sugar Industries/ASR and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association over the contents of a new agreement between the mill and the farmers. As we reported in a previous newscast, BSI/ASR officials have urged the cane farmers through their associations to sign off on revised terms for a working agreement. But certain aspects of the agreement under the proposed terms are not acceptable to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and they have made that position known. The last thing the Government would want to see is a repeat of the 2010 ordeal where a deadlock nearly led to industrial action, so today we heard from the Ministry’s CEO what they propose as the way forward.

 


joseJose Alpuche, CEO, Ministry of Agriculture


“They have said that they are not against the investment on Direct Consumption but obviously there is a difference of views as to how they will go there, as you know this is a Commercial Private Company and basically the cane farmers are also Private Investors they have to sit and discuss the issue and hopefully come up with a solution amongst themselves.”

 

Reporter


“Government won’t be playing any intermediate role?”


Jose Alpuche, CEO, Ministry of Agriculture


“We will always try to facilitate but at the end of the day this is a contractual agreement between the two parties. There’s absolutely need for more dialogue between the leadership of the BSCFA and the Mill, however, as we discussed earlier the issue of the changing market place is real and the issue of moving away from a commodity production in terms of raw sugar to value added to possibly Direct consumption we see as one of the ways going forward that will help insulate Belize from the changing global environment.”

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