Sugar stakeholders meet with the Ministry of Agriculture

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Posted: Friday, September 3, 2021. 11:35 a.m. CST.

By Aaron Humes: The agriculture ministry said it has met with both sides of the suddenly emerging sugar conflict in the north and other stakeholders.

Minister Jose Mai and Parliamentarians Ramiro Ramirez and Elvia Vega Samos met with representatives of the Belize Sugar Cane Producers Association, the Progressive Sugar Cane Producers Association and the Cane Producers Association North sugar.

Discussions focused on the trade agreement between the farmers and Belize Sugar Industries Limited / American Sugar Refining Group (ASR / BSI), and the Sugar Industry Act review process to which all parties are committed.

The BSCFA is the main source of the dispute, stating its dissatisfaction with critical items including payment for bagasse and its commitment to improve milling operations. The meeting, according to an official government statement, was intended first to seek common ground between the associations on the two issues and to present a united front as producers in light of the upcoming situations the industry is facing. confronted. All participants agreed to work together for the benefit of the industry.

The meeting follows meetings with ASR / BSI and Santander organized by the Ministry of Agriculture to discuss the future plans of the two sugar mills for the industry. In particular, marketing issues have been discussed by different parties with a view to clarifying the future of the industry.

ASR / BSI has so far resisted calls for negotiations, fearing industry disruption after a rebound season; both sides accused each other of making false statements.

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