Posted: Wednesday, February 2, 2022. 11:03 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The red-hot dispute between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and Belize Sugar Industries Limited/American Sugar Refining (BSI/ASR) has cooled down in recent weeks.
The groupings are in negotiations as they attempt to finalize a commercial agreement by the end of the sugar crop. Their first meeting was held on January eighteenth where B.S.I. reportedly laid out the financial reports on bagasse earnings. More meetings are to follow, and the millers say they are confident that both parties will find common ground.
Shawn Chavarria, Director of Finance, BSI/ASR gave this brief update: “Without getting into too many details because discussions are ongoing, we have had an initial meeting with the BSCFA on the eighteenth of January. So, we received some questions, provided feedback to the BSCFA. Since then we have exchanged additional information. So, right now those discussions are ongoing. The next step really is for the BSCFA to come back to us with some feedback on what we have presented, and keep the discussions going because we want to ensure that before the end of this crop, we have a long term agreement in place with the BSCFA.”
Chavarria reiterated the criticality of this delicate procedure: “We don’t want to go into another offseason where we have doubt lingering in our heads. All it will do is just keep back investments. There won’t be any confidence from both stakeholders. I think both the mill and the farmers as well. They will wonder well, should I be planting if I am not sure if we will be having the same trouble next year. So, it is really important that we get a long-term agreement signed before the end of this crop before we go into this off-season, knowing that we are just focused on getting the mill ready.”
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