The cane farmers and the Belize Sugar Industries have been in disagreement over the past week over tons of spoilt molasses that resulted from a Maillard Reaction. BSI’s stance was to incorporate shared responsibility for the losses and intends to charge the cane farmers sixty five percent which would amount to more than two hundred and eighty thousand dollars of the losses and bear thirty five percent of the losses themselves as they say the reaction occurred because of low sugar cane quality. Today the People’s United Party issued a press release stating that they utterly reject BSI’s explanation that the reaction occurred as a result of low sugar cane quality. They propose that the reaction occurred from failure to follow standard procedures when dealing with the molasses. Jose Abelardo Mai, Standard bearer for Orange Walk South spoke with Love News about the party’s stance and intention to support the cane farmers in this disagreement. Mai says the cane farmers should bear no part in the losses.
JOSE ABELARDO MAI
“I believe that ASR has to take full responsibility for the molasses. We signed an agreement, the Cane Farmers Association and ASR signed an agreement that said once the sugar cane reaches the scale in the compound of BSI the sugarcane is then the sole responsibility of ASR. So if they were to make another byproduct we have nothing to argue about because the sugarcane belongs to them. So we did not deliver the sugar cane, it belongs to them, they processed the molasses it belongs to them they need now to pay us for the molasses but they are saying no. The molasses has deteriorated and is no good anymore, the cane farmers will absorb 65% of that loss and ASR will absorb 35% of the loss, that I believe is wrong. It is an injustice to the cane farmers of this country. The cane farmers I believe are looking at legal options. Our party will support the cane farmers in whatever decision they make once it is reasonable enough. I am certain that our party will do the right thing, it will support the cane farmers in this situation because the cane farmers are being abused over and over by BSI even the workers that work at ASR have been abused by ASR and nobody has said anything about it. The SICB seem to be asleep at the wheel and they have to really be held to task, that is why the SICB was formed, that is why they are there.”
BSI is justifying its claim to the cane farmers on a clause of shared agreement that was included in the agreement they have with the farmers. However, Mai stated that BSI uses the agreement of shared responsibility arbitrarily and when it is convenient to the industry. He stated that the farmers are currently looking into legal processes. Mai stated that it is unjust for the farmers to bear any loss because they are already struggling with a very low second payment.