Corozal Sugar Cane Producers’ Association receives FAIRTRADE certification.

By
Updated: August 25, 2015

Arturo Cantun reporting…

“The news that the organization has been certified by Fairtrade has been received very well by farmers belonging to this association.  According to Chairman of the CSCPA, Elvis Canul, he recognizes the importance of this achievement and has compromised the organization in keeping in compliance with the requirements.

Elvis Canul – Chairman, CSCPA

Well yesterday the 24th of August we received a letter where it is valid from the 24th of August until the 24th of May 2016 and this authorizes Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association to conduct trade between certified Fairtrade operators throughout. This is a plus for our cane farmers they will now be able to benefit from premiums from this last crop that we had.”

Arturo Cantun – Love News

“How much are you looking forward to benefit?

Elvis Canul – Chairman, CSCPA

“At this time I cannot specify there will be some criteria and formulas that will be developed.”

Arturo Cantun, Love News

“What are you planning to do with the money, how are you planning to invest it?

Elvis Canul – Chairman, CSCPA

“Definitely we have to go back to our membership for approval of anything we may do in the future but we have to look at what we will be getting and then we have to make a plan based on the amount of premium we will receive.”

Arturo Cantun, Love News

“The Corozal Sugar Cane Producer’s Association is the smallest of the three cane farmers association operating in the sugar industry.  It has a membership of 342 and together it represents 91,159 tons of sugar cane. Andrew Wright is the Fairtrade Liaison officer for Belize and Jamaica and was visiting with the newly formed organizations a few weeks ago.  He explained that associations certified this year will benefit from the sale of sugar produced during the past crop.

Andrew Wright – FAIRTRADE Liaison Officer

“There is a process that the groups of have to follow. I have been guiding them towards the process of certification. It involves firstly that they understand that standards and they are able to abide by it.”

Arturo Cantun, Love News

This means that they would be able to sell and benefit from the sale of sugar under the Fairtrade brand as of this year, the sugar that was produced from this crop.

Andrew Wright – FAIRTRADE Liaison Officer

“That is a good question. Under our system there is a policy of retroactivity for a year so if they are certified before the payment is made this year for premium they will fall under that group because they would benefit from this year’s proceedings but if they are not certified this year then the retroactivity would have come to an end because the crop in Belize starts on December 15 and therefore that would be a different cycle and the year would have gone.”

Arturo Cantun, Love News

“Sugar produced during the last crop season sold under the Fairtrade logo for $60 per tonnage. Earlier this year, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association received correspondence from Fairtrade that its sugar quota had been cut from 60 thousand tons to 10 thousand tons.  BSCFA wrote to the European based organization requesting consideration of the reduction in quota.  When we spoke with Wright he explain this was all a global tendency that all sugar producing countries were facing.”

Andrew Wright – FAIRTRADE Liaison Officer

“There is a global situation that is happening now in respect to supply and demand of sugar  and its more a market situation because apart from TNL being the purchaser of Fairtrade sugar in Belize they are also purchasing sugar in other countries and without preempting some of the disclosures that will come out later Belize is the more fortunate one of some of the groups. There are other groups I can say for instance I represent Jamaica and they won’t be getting a new contract for Fairtrade sugar from TNL so it could have been worse. I think based on how they perform in the upcoming crop will certainly give consideration to whether or not the amount can be increase and what the market situation is in respect to the amount of Fairtrade sugar being processed worldwide because there is a dip in demand now and that is one of the main reasons the amount has been cut. Jamaica’s Quota was 20,000 tons they had a three year contract starting from 2013,14,15 so therefore this would be their final year and they have enjoyed that facility. Belize was at 60 and Jamaica was at 20 and Belize is now at 10 and Jamaica is now at 0 so the market is dynamic, there is nothing specific just to Belize alone.”

Arturo Cantun, Love News

We were unable to find out what is the status of Progressive Cane Farmers’ Association Fairtrade application.  As mentioned Belize’s sugar quota was reduced from 60 to 10 thousand tons.  This 10 thousand of sugar will now have to be divided among the three associations.