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Start of cane season marred by “violent altercation;” BSI issues condemnation

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Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2021. 12:05 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: There was an apparent violent altercation at Tower Hill, Orange Walk District on Monday surrounding delivery and access to the mill as the 2021-2022 sugar season commenced.

A statement from Belize Sugar Industries Limited/American Sugar Refining (BSI/ASR) maintains that the act “was completely unwarranted as all farmer associations have agreements granting full access to deliver cane to the mill.”

It accused unnamed former members of Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association (CSCPA) of being behind the incident; that Association is one of two charged with delays to the holding of elections and release of information to members that prompted a defeated amendment to the Sugar Industry Act.

BSI’s statement said it “will continue to welcome all farmers to deliver their cane as agreed at the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) meeting of December 23, 2021.”

It further called on the Sugar Cane Production Committee (SCPC) to ensure post haste that all the necessary farmer information is provided in full to the mill to enable automated ticketing to avoid any delays.

And the miller called on all farmer associations and stakeholders to maintain calm and avoid any rhetoric that could lead to acts of violence.

The season is expected to last through next June or July and BSI is expected to mill approximately 1.35 million tons of cane.

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