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Santander warned about selling sugar on local market

Love News has confirmed that Santander Sugar has not been given the green light to sell sugar on the local market. Minister of Investment Tracey Taegar Panton told us that the company has been warned because Santander’s sugar has been found on the local market. Minister Panton told Love News that the Government has strongly advised Santander to cease and desist because the company is in violation of the terms of it doing business in Belize. Panton says that the Ministry became aware of the matter last week Thursday, a day before Santander officially made a request to sell on the local market. According to Taegar-Panton, Santander can be fined and its sugar which is found on the local market can be confiscated, which the Customs and Excise Department is addressing. While Santander has a right to apply for a waiver to sell sugar on the local market, Minister Taegar Panton says that the Government will not act outside agreements made between the sugar industry stakeholders. Santander’s request will take no less than two weeks to be reviewed and considered. The Santander sugar was found in a store in Corozal. As we said, if given the green light, having Santander selling sugar on the local market may affect the sugar price per tonne for the local cane farmers. Santander is a holder of an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) certification of compliance and as an EPZ holder, it needs to apply for a waiver to enter the local market. That request was officially submitted on Friday, May 25- three days ago. Santander has also applied for the harvesting of white sugar which will be strictly for export. We understand that the three cane farmers association in the north have written to Minister Godwin Hulse, expressing concern regarding Santander’s request.