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Majority of farmers decide to stay with BSCFA and sign agreement

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Belize Sugar Industry impasse continues

Posted: Tuesday, January 13, 2015. 8:11 pm CST.

Belize Sugar Industry impasse continues

Belize Sugar Industry impasse continues

Tuesday, January 13, 2015. BMG: The impasse in the sugar industry continues as there is still no date set for the start of the 2014-2015 sugar crop.

But there is apparently some light at the end of the dark tunnel for the cane farmers.

According to information received, the eighteen branch leaders of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers  Association met this morning in Orange Walk town to deliver the results of surveys carried out of their respective members on whether or not they want to sign on to the draft commercial agreement hammered out late last year with BSI/ASR.

That draft agreement was set for signature when at the very last minute, the BSCFA membership rejected the document because of objectionable clauses they uncovered that had been slipped into the document.

According to the Chairman of the Committee of Management Ezekiel Cansino, 58% of the members of the BSCFA who have sugar cane in the field ready for harvesting and delivery, voted to remain with the Association.

Those farmers who decided to stay with the BSCFA also voted to go ahead and sign the draft commercial agreement.

Based on information we have been able to gather, four of the eighteen branches have chosen to break away from the BSCFA and Cansino today told reporters that he respects the rights of those farmers to choose to break away from the Association and pursue their own interests.

The attorneys for BSCFA and BSI/ASR are now expected to meet to finalize a date for the two sides to sign the draft commercial agreement.

But with the breakaway of four branches and an expressed desire to form other groups or associations, the process of cane delivery to the BSU/ASR factory at Tower Hill could become a logistics nightmare.

There is already the United Cane Farmers Association and the Corozal Sugar Producers Association.

Chairman of the Sugar Cane Control Board Gabriel Martinez has gone on record as saying that he would prefer that all groups or associations to deliver at the same time so as not to create an unfair advantage to any one group.

We’ll keep following developments in this ongoing story.

 

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