Posted: Monday, December 19, 2022. 9:01 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Santander Sugar Group is scheduled to commence its 2023, sugar cane harvest season next week.
Together with over 1,000 employees and third-party contractors and farmers, the group will be harvesting over 29 thousand acres of sugarcane, expecting to get an average of 38 tons of sugarcane per acre for a total production of 70 to 75 thousand tons of sugar. This, however, will be heavily dependent on the weather as CEO of SSG Jose Rodriguez indicated. The company is planning to get all this done over a period of 150 days or by the end of June of next year, right before the rainy season is scheduled to kick off.
‘’Harvest season for us, as in anywhere else in the world, is to be able to harvest as much sugarcane as the factory can process. We don’t harvest every day because sometimes it rains at the start of the harvest, however, we try to reach the point where we can have enough cane to feed the mill so that it can be operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.’’
Using cutting-edge technology in sugar cane production SSG is the only company in Belize and even in the Caribbean that conducts fully mechanized green harvesting. This according to CEO Rodriguez not only translates into quality products, and increased volume of production, but also better working conditions for employees.
Santander produces raw sugar, brown sugar, and molasses, which are trucked to Big Creek and Belize port for export to countries in the European Union and the Caribbean. The company also produces renewable energy which is fed into the national grid. For this harvest season, Santander says that they are not only expecting to increase their sugar production but also their renewable energy.
CEO Rodriguez says that while every harvest season represents a challenge, the company and its team work hard to perform at the highest level possible.
‘’It’s challenging to recuperate from two hurricanes and floods, damages to road infrastructure which is very important for the harvest transport. The sugar cane fields were also affected. We have learned over the years how to perform in these conditions, we have also built a spectacular hard-working team of employees, consisting of more than 85% Belizeans, in all the different areas, including Industrial, harvest, agricultural, maintenance, and administrative”, indicated Rodriguez.
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