Tate and Lyle Sugars Accuse Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association of Circulating Misinformation
Tate and Lyle Sugars has written to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) instructing them to cease and desist from circulating misinformation and misleading statements to its cane farmers and the public. The letter is dated July 10, signed by Julia Clark – the Director of Sugar Ethics, and refers to documents sent out some three days ago, indicating that the (BSCFA) is still owed Fairtrade Premiums. The letter reads, in part, quote, “Please cease making such statements regarding Tate & Lyle Sugars and our Fairtrade processes. They are extremely damaging to the work we have been doing over the last months to establish a way forward for our organisations to work together again.” End of quote. In one of its documents circulating, the BSCFA noted that they are being discriminated against and treated unfairly. Tate and Lyle pointed to several misinformation by the BSCFA, the first being that the association is claiming that they were to be paid a premium. Tate and Lyle noted that the BSCFA has failed to meet the requirements that would make them qualify for a premium, and therefore they are owed nothing. Additionally, premiums are an incentive and not an entitlement. Another point made by Tate and Lyle refers to a paper that combined elements of two separate documents (one expired and one current) which they say make for further misinformation. The letter goes on to cite several other instances of misinformation being issued by the BSCFA. And while that is a battle left to be fought between Tate and Lyle and the BSCFA, the most curious point in this surrounds the one million dollars that the government gave the BSCFA, to compensate for the monies they did not receive from Fairtrade International. The next concerning matter is the legislation that the government brought about that would attempt to guarantee Fairtrade premiums to the BSCFA. It is interesting to see how this will turn out, considering that Fairtrade is not a local entity. It is also to be noted that BSI/ASR has filed an application for an injunction against the government’s amended sugar regulations.