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BREAKING: Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association accepts final proposals to end sugar stand-off

Posted: Thursday, January 4, 2024. 6:53 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The stand-off between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Associaton (BSCFA) and Belize Sugar Industries Limited/American Sugar Refining (BSI/ASR) appears to be at an end tonight, Thursday.

The BSCFA leadership is currently reporting to members the results of today’s negotiations, which are as follows: first, a two-year commercial agreement, with no extension beyond that period as previously insisted on by BSI/ASR; second, the Government commits to supporting the process of restoring Fairtrade premiums to BSCFA by Tate and Lyle Sugars, and if that does not succeed, to paying $1 million for the fertilizers usually purchased by BSCFA to distribute to farmers from these funds; third, that pending the result of an economic analysis of transportation and shipping at the Port of Big Creek versus the Port of Belize City to be completed in 90 days by the Government, the Government will pay the port handling and throughput charges on behalf of the farmers; and a commitment by the Prime Minister to commence the work of the Commission of Inquiry within 30 days.

A motion was presented to the BSCFA’s general assembly, seconded by a member of the floor, and subsequently approved by acclamation. Previously, BSI/ASR had signaled their agreement to the proposals laid out by the Government.

Alfredo Ortega of the BSCFA, flanked by leaders of the major trade unions, gave thanks and reminded that they got a compromise on what they asked for because they remained united and focused.

 

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