Posted: Sunday, January 4, 2015. 9:56 pm CST.
Sunday, January 4, 2015. PATRICK E. JONES Reporting: Cane farmers today voted overwhelmingly to reject the proposed commercial agreement negotiated between BSI/ASR and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, BSCFA.
The vote was taken at a four-hour long special general membership meeting in San Roman village, Corozal on Sunday.
The purpose of the special general meeting was for the farmers to get a full explanation of the proposed agreement and how they stand to benefit from it.
But they were taken aback when during his presentation the attorney for the cane farmers Christopher Coye announced that it was his belief that the proposed agreement contains more benefits and should be signed by the BSCFA.
“This new agreement does not take anything, in any way, from the farmers, but provides more to the farmers than what the old agreement provided,” explained Coye.
The farmers were not convinced and when the matter was put to a vote, the majority said no.
In rejecting the proposed commercial agreement, the cane farmers also passed resolution to reconvene the negotiation team and for them to join cane farmer Lucilio Teck in his application to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus forcing the Sugar Cane Control Board to set a date for the start of the crop season.
Attorney-at-Law Audrey Matura Shepherd was allowed to address the cane farmers and she used the opportunity to explain what legal options is available to them, including the avenue being pursued by Teck.
The special general meeting also pass a motion for the disbursement of $4 million in fair trade funds to cane farmers.
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