Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2022. 12:19 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes, Orange Walk Town: The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) continues its fight for a more equitable distribution of costs of production of sugar.
President Andy Westby vowed not to back down in the face of pressure from the Government and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited/American Sugar Refining (BSI/ASR) to accede.
Westby pointed out that the BSCFA was the first, last year, to point out the need for a mediator in the current round of negotiations, and that BSI had rejected a similar request in the last round of negotiations in 2015.
The two sides remain apart, he said, on the length of the agreement, the always contentious payment for the nominally worthless bagasse used to power the BELCOGEN plant, and the division of the value of sugar sales before expenses are taken out.
With a mediator added to the mix, BSCFA hopes to move forward and get an agreement in time for the start of the crop in mid-December. But Government must not abandon its role in playing honest broker for both sides, Westby concluded.
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