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St. Francis Xavier Credit Union freezes loans to cane farmers over commercial agreement

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Posted: Wednesday, September 15, 2021. 12:50 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: St. Francis Xavier Credit Union Limited of Corozal Town is the first financial institution to announce it will hold on loan applications for cane farmers citing uncertainty over the continuation of the Commercial Agreement with American Sugar Refining/Belize Sugar Industries Limited (ASR/BSI).

The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) has terminated the agreement with intent to renegotiate it, but BSI has discouraged talk of such renegotiation in an effort to avoid disruption.

Rafael Dominguez, General Manager of the credit union, has written the chairman of the Corozal Branch of the Association informing of his conversation with BSCFA CEO Oscar Alonzo in which the topic was raised and the response.

Dominguez says the credit union awaits a formal response on the outcome of the negotiations if any and how it affects cane delivery and until it does says it must protect its finances.

The Association has pointed out that this is a consequence of the millers’ actions but insists it wants to conclude negotiations in time for the start of the next crop season.

We’ll continue to follow the story.

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