American Sugar Refineries Belize Sugar Industries (ASR/BSI) has been under scrutiny after some cane farmers questioned an eleven million dollar figure on their balance sheet. Vice President of International Relations for ASR, Mac McLachlan addressed the issue at an impromptu session with the media. However, ASR’s wanted to inform the public that the company is looking to invest a further forty million dollars in the industry.
Vice President International Relations for ASR Mac Mclachlan: “Sugar; that’s the thing about this Industry and many Sugar industries around the world; we are joined at the hip. If there is no cane; there is no business, there is no Mill and if there is no Mill there is nowhere for the cane so what’s important is for us all lto move together to try and improve productivity and efficiency. Now in Belize through a value share agreement; any added value that is earned by the Mill is automatically shared with Cane farmers. You will recall in September last year we announced our previous announcement in $22 million Belize dollars and that was to increase our ability to produce food grade sugars, value added sugars from 30-50,000 tons a crop and I am pleased to say that that investment has now been completed in the Mill and from the next crop we will be able to produce that amount of direct consumption sugar so yes there is direct benefit for cane farmers through the added value that will be produced from the investment that BSI has made.”
The company is planning to invest another ten million dollars in repairs and improvements of the mill and power plant in order to increase the efficiency in the plant. This would bring the current investment to 50 million. McLachlan explains.
Vice President International Relations for ASR Mac Mclachlan: “Most of it is investment actually in the factory so in capacity in the boiling house. We will be building a new warehouse for storage and packaging of sugar and basically we will be improving efficiency in the Mill so we will have have a slightly higher throughput of cane and we will be able to as I say have more versatility to respond to market demands.”
ASR’s President also stated that BSI and its shareholders are committed to the business’ development, therefore these investments towards improving the efficiency and increasing value-added production were made.