The Sugar Industry (Amendment) Bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives on Monday and by the Senate on Tuesday, has been assented to by the Governor General, Sir Colville Young.
The Act was published in the Gazette on Wednesday, 21st January 2015, but is retroactive from the 14th of January, 2015.
According to a press release from the Government Press Office, this Act is to secure to all cane farmers the freedom of association guaranteed by the Belize Constitution. It will no longer be compulsory for a cane farmer to belong to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association or any other association. The Act also provides that there may exist more than one association of cane farmers, and the Sugar Industry Control Board shall have the power to register all associations.
After registration by the Board, an association shall automatically become a legal entity and may hold property, open bank accounts in its own name, and do all other things which a corporate body may do. The manufacturers will also be free to accept cane from any association or from individual cane farmers or groups of cane farmers.