On Wednesday, we told you about the press release issued by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association , which in essence rejects BSI’s allegation that it is the quality of the sugar cane brought in by the farmers that caused thee molasses problem at the factory. The sugar cane farmers said that they would not accept any loss as a result of the loss BSI would have due to the Maillard Reaction. 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. Today, our colleagues at CTV 3 spoke to one of those cane farmers, Abelardo Mai.
Albelardo Mai, Cane Farmer
“We sign an agreement with them that once that sugar cane reaches the scale it belongs to BSI. I am certain that there is insurance. When the vessels sink in the sea with sugar in it, it is insured so we are covered. The farmers cannot afford any more loses. ASR annual cost of local handling is about 15 million dollars, even more or the same as Ocean Freight. I will not take any loses we signed an agreement. Once the sugar cane reaches the scale it belongs to them. This is total unacceptable for the cane farmers.”
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 their 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.