Reports reaching Love News are that Santander Sugar is selling sugar on the local market. Santander Sugar, originally from Spain, began investing in the region when it first established a factory in Guatemala. A Belize Invest Magazine states quote, “As the group evaluated its projected growth patterns, they felt that the natural transition was into the country of Belize. So, in-country operations commenced in 2012.” End of quote. According to the article, the sugar produced by the Santander Group is to be ‘exported based on pre-contractual arrangements on the international market”. So, being approved to sell sugar on the local market caught some stakeholders off guard. This can affect the price of sugar for local farmers. We were not able to get a comment from Santander Representative, Beverly Burke but we were able to speak to William Neal, the Communications and Government Affairs Officers for ASR/BSI.
William Neal, Communications/Gov’t Affiars Officer, ASR/BSI: “We are aware but you know we are not getting involved in all the back and forth. Basically all that we know is that we will continue to provide the domestic market with quality sugar and we have our expansion plan, we are improving the conditioning of sugar and we take our committment to provide the local market first and with good quality sugar as a serious commitement from us in that the cane prices that we pay to farmers also includes that; the sales of sugar plantation white sugar and brown on the domestic market so that is a part of the formula in what monies is paid to the cane farmers. So obviously if that market is split then that impacts the bottom line for cane farmers and for us as well.”
We’ll keep following this story.