By Aaron Humes: The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association met the press in Orange Walk this afternoon but they did not have good news to report.
The impasse between the BSCFA and Belize Sugar Industries Limited/American Sugar Refining (BSI/ASR) continues after the latter presented its version of a proposal to vary the calculation of the value which they pay cane farmers.
BSCFA have proposed a 60-40 ratio for the gross revenue from sales of sugar and molasses across all markets, but BSI has amended this to reflect only sales of plantation white sugar, with the rest reflected with lower prices as raw sugar.
BSCFA continues to hope for at least an interim agreement based on the current commercial agreement; BSI continues to argue against it.
The start date of the season is tentatively set for December 20 but it is expected that at least 100,000 tons of cane will be counted as standover cane (200,000 tons are counted from last year). Estimates say a total of 1.3 million tons of cane are available for harvest, the Tower Hill factory can potentially grind 1.25 million tons but internal problems mean that typically less is produced.
According to Finance Committee Chairman Javier Keme, the bottleneck at present is factory production, and their proposal includes a commitment from BSI/ASR to grind 7,000 tons of cane per day.
We’ll have more coverage later on.
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