Santander Belize Offers Sweet Solution to Sugar Shortage
As the government contemplates a price change for sugar, and as local consumers’ only option for sugar is the imported kind, Santander Belize is offering a solution to the shortage. The company, which is only allowed to produce for export, issued a release indicating that it could be an immediate solution to the shortage. Santander says it has started its 2024 harvesting season with no complications and that they are producing the sugars demanded on the market. Essentially, the company is offering to provide a quota to the local authorities at a cheaper rate than what the imported product is costing. The release ended by saying quote, “The principals of Santander Sugar Group remain available to have an official conversation with the decision makers regarding the supply of sugar to Belizeans as a long-term solution.” End of quote. Despite its offer of a possible solution, Minister of Agriculture says it might be a bit too late as the shortage is practically over.
Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture:“They operate under what we used to call a DPA, a designated processing zone which was first an EPZ. Under that status they are not allowed to sell sugar locally. However I believe, as I do not know the exact clause, but if there is a need to do so I think the government can, I’m not certain, but as it is right now that status they that they have will now allow them to sell local sugar on the market. We calculated along with BSI what is the consumption. As a matter of fact the shortage of white sugar is only for the Christmas season because there was a higher demand during the Christmas season for cake making. We have surpassed that now, the crop has begun, sugar is being produced and so there is no more need for that.”
Belize is the largest sugar-producing country in the Caribbean.