Sugar Industry Inquiry Finally Begins After Months of Delays

Sugar Industry Inquiry Finally Begins After Months of Delays

After months of delay, the Sugar Industry Commission of Inquiry has met to begin the task of delving into the workings of the Sugar Industry. In January, as a part of the agreement between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI/ASR), the government agreed to establish a commission. The group was to begin working thirty days after the parties signed an agreement on January 8. But it was not until last Wednesday that the commission met virtually for the first time for just under three hours. The group is tasked with examining the industry’s whole value chain and present recommendations to the government based on findings and data collected from various entities. Today, the commission’s Secretary and Lead Coordinator for the government, Hugh O’Brien, spoke about the meeting and the first phase of the group’s work.

The commission’s Chairman is Wayne Piper, and its five commissioners are Robert Mariette and Vinod Ramharai from Mauritius, Belizean Jeffery Joseph, South African expert Andy Church, and United Kingdom expert Simon Gibbons. O’Brien says that in June the group will begin site visits to various parts in the north and west to properly understand the ins and outs of Belize’s sugar industry.

The commissioners have a deadline of November 30, 2024, to submit the required reports.

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