On Wednesday, representatives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmer’s Association met with farmers to discuss BSI-ASR’s new strategy to bypass the association and negotiate with farmer’s individually to get the new sugar season started.
BSCFA held a press conference on Wednesday morning, where they stated that they have the support of the majority of the farmers, and will continue to negotiate with BSI as an association.
Those issues include ownership of the sugarcane and the formula for the payment of bagasse. BSI-ASR and BSCFA have not been able to reach an agreement.
On Tuesday, we told you about the letter that BSCFA had written to the Sugar Industries Control Board, requesting intervention in the ongoing battle, which may now appear to be Association busting. That letter was also sent to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister as well.
On Wednesday, almost 400 farmers attended the BSI –ASR meeting aimed at getting the individual farmers to sign the commercial agreement, and while some farmers appear to be leaning towards going at the negotiations alone, according to reports, no one has yet signed the commercial agreement. In fact, BSCFA says that cane farmers went to the BSI meeting to be informed and went with the consent of BSCFA.
While BSCFA says farmers are free to make their own choices, it warns that it is safer negotiating as an association than individually.
Reports were that a newly formed association in Corozal was willing to sign that agreement but so far, there has been no confirmation that any individual farmers have signed.