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Government supports Belize sugar industry on international market hunt

The 2017/2018 Sugar crop closed on June 27 and the preliminary report is that the industry performed well. One of the key and biggest changes in this crop has been the expansions at the mill to accommodate an increased production of Direct Consumption Sugar. The project is aimed at minimizing the impact of the low prices on the global market, which keeps dropping. The objective is to market DC sugars in larger quantities on the European market but, the company is also seeking to access the CARICOM market. Minister of Agriculture Godwin Hulse says government is just as committed and is working hand in hand with the industry stakeholders to expand Belize’s access on the international market.

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture: “I’m happy that they had a successful crop, very happy that for a long time the shareholders made some money. The BEH which is the minor shareholder that is the collective employees of the factory earned significant dividends and they were all very happy. The fact of the matter is that we are working very hard to get Belize’s sugar into the CARICOM market and as I said again in my speech that should be a given because CARICOM we are part of that single market but we have not learnt how to work together in CARICOM and so it should not have been a challenge to get our sugar in there and I mean direct consumption sugar on the table to sweeten your tea, to put in your soft drinks etc. We are working on that and we are making good strides so hopefully we’ll be able to market there because the world market prices for raw sugar has declined tremendously, no news we knew that was going to happen so now we are going to that sugar that hits your table. There is no need for Belize to export raw sugar those days are gone we can produce quality sugar here and sell it in a bag, sell it in a pack into those markets and that’s where we’re going. At the COTED which is the Committee on Trade in the CARICOM that is where we are lobbying hard to get Belizean sugar into that market and other Belizean products into that market and that is the government’s role.

Officials at BSI say that this year the quality of sugar cane saw improvement and added that with the recent expansions at the factory, BSI now boasts a higher performance capacity.