Posted: Thursday, September 2, 2021. 11:58 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) is very much aware of its leverage in the ongoing dispute with BSI. “We have 53 percent of cane production; they can’t start the crop without our cane. Well they can start the crop but they will not get the results they want,” said BSCFA Executive Director Oscar Alonzo at today’s briefing with the press.
But even so, Alonzo said, BSCFA remains optimistic that an agreement can be negotiated and signed between the private entities. And it expects that if there is an issue, the Government will and should intervene as it didn’t in the last negotiation which took almost two years.
‘We are not thinking of holding hostage anyone,’ Alonzo said, in response to suggestions of using their leverage to delay the season to extract concessions while accusing BSI of trying to siphon farmers from the BSCFA to other associations or to sign individual contracts.
Such practices are not tolerated by Fairtrade and farmers are urged to resist their advances and even to record their interactions as evidence.The current commercial agreement is the same for all associations though the millers can negotiate separate contracts with other associations should they wish; BSCFA obviously cannot speak for those other associations.
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