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Sugar Cane Farmers Association tells BSI/ASR ‘You still owe us’ for Fairtrade

Posted: Monday, April 24, 2023. 8:46 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) issued an important clarification today to Friday’s statement by Belize Sugar Industries Limited/American Sugar Refining (BSI/ASR) with regard to the methodology of premium payments for sugar sold under Fairtrade rules by Tate and Lyle Sugar for the 2021-2022 and ongoing 2022-23 crop season.

While BSCFA says it has not received any Fairtrade premiums for these seasons, it remains part of the collective sale of sugar by BSI/ASR to Tate and Lyle. The sugar sold thus is not from individual associations and so the relationship between Tate and Lyle and BSCFA is of no consequence as it explains: “The BSCFA affirms that the Fairtrade Standards require only that BSCFA or any other cane farmer association have a valid Fairtrade certification and a commercial agreement with BSI/ASR to deliver Fairtrade certified sugar cane in order to receive Fairtrade Premiums for any Fairtrade sugar sold, which BSCFA and the other cane farmer associations have.”

The BSCFA adds that the payments among the four associations must be proportionately shared. If it is true that as BSI/ASR states, “no association has been overpaid or given what is due to another,” then it has a right to expect payment based on its share and relevant information regarding total sales of Fairtrade sugar and premium distributions from the millers, which it says it has not officially gotten.

The BSCFA concludes that it looks forward to its cane farmers receiving their due Fairtrade Premiums on BSCFA’s share of Fairtrade sugar processed and sold by BSI to Tate and Lyle.


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