The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association , at a meeting held on Wednesday, was presented with BSI’s results of its investigations on the loss of molasses due to Maillard Reactionand the cane price estimate for the second payment to cane farmers. In its press release, BSI had said that “the Maillard Reaction at BSI is attributed mainly to the quality of cane received with high levels of reducing sugars combined with high ambient temperatures during the 2016 crop”. The BSCFA says it expressed its disapproval of that statement, which it says, sought to place blame and responsibility for the Maillard reaction mainly and squarely on the cane farmers. According to a press release from BSCFA , “..the laboratory test results showed that the quality of cane delivered by cane farmers during the 2015/2016 crop was good in relation to the quality parameters for the acceptance and rejection of cane stipulated in the commercial agreement signed between BSCFA and the other Associations. In plain and simple terms, the cause of the Maillard effect cannot be attributed to the quality of cane.” BSI says that it estimates that 3,900 tons of molasses was lost as a result of the Maillard Reaction which they have valued as $432,666, which will be shared in the proportion of 65% by cane farmers and 35% by BSI. The effect of this loss on the estimated cane price of cane to be paid to cane farmers is, therefore, $0.22 per ton of cane. As a result, the estimated average price for the second payment will be $48.08 per ton instead of $48.30 per ton. The BSCFA, however, has objected to the sharing of the loss, saying that BSI should bare the lost alone. BSCFA says that the commercial agreement does not provide for the inclusion of such loss of molasses in the calculation of the cane price to be paid to cane farmers. The cane farmers say they expect to receive payment for his cane in accordance with the quality accepted at the scales. BSCFA is requesting that the Sugar Industry
Control Board conduct an independent investigation into the loss of molasses from the Maillard Reaction; Have BSI assume the entire financial loss of revenues as a result of the loss of molasses; and Have BSI revise the estimated average price of cane to be used for the second payment to cane farmers for the 2015/2016 crop by using the actual contract price for the export sale of molasses to cane farmers.