CEO of the Belize Sugar Cane farmers Association, Oscar Alonzo says they are not against the BSI/ASR’s Sugar Industry’s proposal to produce Direct Consumption Sugar. What they are concerned about are the conditions that BSI has for investing in the proposed project. Alonzo says they do not have many details on the proposed project but the BSCFA’s membership is of the view that any production that will increase production and revenues is welcomed. Their concerns stem from the proposed conditions in order to make this investment. He adds that BSI conditions will in effect bring changes to the agreement.
Oscar Alonzo – CEO, BSCFA
“They have been using this investment to hold, to seek an amendment to the contract and of course then we are saying that we need to negotiate. We will be sitting down and deciding that. We just started to consider those aspects that they have put forward since they have raised the issue. We were planning to do an analysis and then present our proposals to the negotiations but then since they have sent us this proposal to invest and have attached to it conditions that have implications for the contract, then we had to see how we could move forward this this. It will effect changes. Mr.McLaughlan, the areas he refers to are clearly not the areas we are looking at to change. He says that it will not change the 65% or the 5% share of the net value. He is pointing out areas that we will not be looking at. He doesn’t look at the areas where he would like to accept changes to not to have the signing of the strategic plan as a condition for the period of the agreement that is a change. So for him to say that no change is being proposed is not correct and also with the bagasse if he is saying cement the arrangement for the payment of bagasse as it is in the agreement for the next four years and let it go for the 7th year that is a change because within that clause there is a provision that says that we would sit down and revisit the payment for the bagasse that would include them to provide us with all relevant information on the operations of BELCOGEN so that is the change so for him to say that what they are proposing is not changed. I don’t think it is correct.”
Alonzo says they continue to meet with the membership of the Association to discuss the matter and also continue meetings with representatives of BSI on the proposal. The BSCFA is the largest cane farmers association with a membership of over three thousand. To date, the other associations have jumped on board with BSI on the project.