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“Compromise can be reached for the greater good” says Prime Minister as sugar agreement is sealed

Posted: Monday, January 8, 2024. 11:08 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: After days, weeks, months and even years of deadlock, Prime Minister John Briceño said tonight that it came down to his telling both the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and Belize Sugar Industries Limited/American Sugar Refining (BSI/ASR) to “sit in a room and not leave until we had an agreement.”

The fact that one was reached late tonight, he added, proves that compromise can be reached for the greater good and thanked both sides, as well as the People’s United Party’s own Northern Caucus, the Cabinet Sub-Committee, the Ministry of Agriculture and all others who contributed.

The agreement is for two years and commits the Government to providing one million dollars in fertilizers monies to BSCFA if Fairtrade premiums are not obtained in separate agreement with Tate and Lyle Sugars (TLS), as well as to the beginning of the Commission of Inquiry into the Sugar Industry and an economic analysis of the terminal handling charges at the Port of Big Creek versus the Port of Belize, to be conducted by Hugh O’Brien.

Now, the P.M. says, all four associations can begin harvesting and delivering the more than a million tonnes of cane in the fields in Corozal and Orange Walk and have it milled into the various forms of sugar that has kept the industry at the top of Belize’s agricultural ladder.

 

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