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#411189 - 07/04/11 10:07 PM Shortage of Sugar  
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July 04, 2011

For some time the public has been complaining about access to sugar. Officials at Belize Sugar Industries have consistently said that there is no shortage of sugar despite the many complaints. Today the Bureau of Standards issued a release to say businesses are committing an offence under the supplies central act subsidiary regulation for price controlled goods if it limits, withholds the sale or refuses to sell sugar. The Bureau says any person that contravenes or fails to comply with the regulations will be guilty of an offense for which they can be fined or confined. The public is asked to report any such actions by businesses to the Bureau of Standards.

Live and let live
#411212 - 07/05/11 09:22 AM Re: Shortage of Sugar [Re: Short]  
Joined: Mar 2006
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I FINALLY found some yesterday after a week and a half search! Orioles and hummingbirds are happy again.

#411329 - 07/06/11 10:34 PM Re: Shortage of Sugar [Re: JZB]  
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July 06, 2011

A number of Toledo villagers who were in Punta Gorda for grocery shopping today went back home without sugar.

Paul Mahung reporting...
“The group of villagers who were disappointed with what they described as a shortage of sugar in Toledo expressed their concern to Love news as they were getting ready to return to their respective rural communities. A villager of San Marcus was willing to speak out publicly.

San Marcus villager
“I am here in town looking for sugar and it seems that there is no sugar in Toledo but according to the news yesterday saying there is no shortage of sugar. I went to a shop to find sugar, at least 10 pounds for my family but the shopkeeper told me that there is no sugar. If I want to sell you I will sell you and if I ant, I won’t sell you, that is what the shopkeeper told me. I don’t know what is the problem in this situation because people in Toledo are suffering for sugar. The only amount you can get is five pounds, three pounds that is the maximum you could get in Toledo. All the villages are suffering for sugar but according to the news there is no shortage of sugar. We have some people who are trading the sugar to Guatemala. Why is this? These people are trading the sugar without the proper way because why is it that the Government, doesn’t the Government have any say in this? Doesn’t the Government have no right to investigate this problem because we are suffering from about three four months ago, we have shortage of sugar. Only one shop has sugar in PG right now. You go to the other shop there is no sugar, you go to the next there is no sugar.”

While sugar is not totally out of stock in all stores in Punta Gorda it appears that sugar is not readily available as is in demand. In many cases, sugar is made available to some shoppers in very limited quantities thus making many rural inhabitants who come to town to do their grocery shopping very unhappy and concerned about what they feel is a shortage of sugar in Toledo.”

Earlier this week the Bureau of Standards issued a release addressing this issue. The Bureau of Standards states that these practices are an offence under the Supplies Control Act Subsidiary Regulation for Price Controlled Goods. Section eight of the act states that the conditions not to be imposed on sale carry the written permission of the controller of supplies no person shall in connection with any sale of price controlled goods, impose or attempt to impose any conditions as to the purchase of any other goods. The release went on to say that any person who breaches to comply with these regulations shall be guilty of an offence against these regulations will be liable to a fine of one thousand dollars or prison time of six months. The general public is advised to report any business that is limiting, withholding, refusing or imposing conditions on sale of sugar by contacting the Supplies Control Unit at 822-0446.

Live and let live
#411388 - 07/07/11 10:07 PM Re: Shortage of Sugar [Re: Short]  
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July 07, 2011

Belizeans continue to complain about a shortage of sugar in some parts of the country. While Belize Sugar Industries Limited continues to maintain that it is producing enough sugar to meet the demands of the local market, the plantation white sugar produced at Tower Hill is making it across the western and northern borders. That combined with a shortfall in production this year is putting a squeeze on the local market availability of sugar. Damian Gough is the Marketing Officer for BSI.

Damian Gough – Marketing Officer, BSI
“The industry had initially projected to produce about 1.1 million tons of cane and on June 24th when the crop ended we had only milled a total 843,000 ;so you are looking at over a quarter million tons of cane that was not received this year for one reason or another and that quarter million tons of cane translates to another 20 to 25,000 tons of sugar that we weren’t able to make this year. A portion of that sugar would have been sugar that we would have made for sale on the local market and since we didn’t get the cane to do it we were faced with a situation where indeed we weren’t able to produce the amount of sugar that we had projected, but since then we have taken measures to correct that as I believe has been raised by a colleague of mine.”

Patrick Jones - Reporter
Mr. Gough if we know that the sugar is making its way across the border both in the west and north, why not formulate a trade agreement where we can legitimately get our sugar across the border?

Damian Gough – Marketing Officer, BSI
“Attempts to do so have been undertaken before, in the past as recently as three or four years ago. In the case of Guatemala, the Guatemalan sugar producers have objected vehemently to Belize’s sugar going over there on the basis that it doesn’t meet the quality specifications that their sugar requires. Specifically it has to do with an issue of Vitamin A. However as is obviously the case the consumers and buyers of sugar in say Peten for example could care less about the sugar not having enough Vitamin A or having too much Vitamin A because the sugar is still making its way into Peten. In the case of Peten they usually get their sugar from the interior of Guatemala and it is far cheaper and easier for them to get the sugar out of Belize than to have to wait for sugar to come to them from the interior of Guatemala City. That is the reason we have not been able to formalize a specific trade agreement for example with Guatemala. In the case of Mexico the same thing applies. Mexico is known as an exporter of sugar, it claims that it has sufficient sugar to satisfy the entire Mexican national market for sugar; they have factories as near as Obregon that service the South-eastern part of Mexico and they claim they have an overstock and supply however it is the same scenario; it is far easier and cheaper to get sugar perhaps out of Belize into say La Union and outskirts of Chetumal and so on as it would be to have to wait for sugar to come all the way down from Merida and Obregon to service the market. While both countries have said they aren’t interested in formalizing sugar trade agreement the fact of the matter still seems to be that there is a void in those markets and Belizean sugar has been able to find a home for it simply because the price that we sell the sugar for here, the controlled price is extremely lower than what we would face in Guatemala and Mexico.”

Gough says that a multi agency approach to tackling the problem of sugar shortage is being spearheaded by BSI and the Ministry of Agriculture to alleviate the situation and avoid a crisis situation.

Damian Gough – Marketing Officer, BSI
“Presently efforts are being undertaken between the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Agriculture, BSI, the Cane Farmers Association whereby we have been looking at trying to address the issue of distribution through some monitoring of the wholesale distributors and so on but additionally BSI had undertaken to try to reprocess some of the export sugar that we would have normally sent out. We have been reprocessing some of that sugar in the week and a half period now since the crop has ended and we will be making additional sugar and have already made some additional sugar to try to cater to the Belize market need. We estimate the Belizean market need to be around 13,500 tons of white sugar. When the crop ended we had only produced about 10,500 tons of that and since then we have been reprocessing sugar to the tune of another 3,000 tons to be able to pick up that demand. At present we have about 6,000 tons of sugar in our stock and will be producing a bit more up until the weekend. We estimate by our records that the monthly consumption of sugar is in the neighbourhood of around 1,000 tons per month and so if we have 6,000 tons or closer to 7,000 tons of sugar in storage to last us for the remainder of the year we should be able to meet the needs of the market that way. What it will require as I said effective management and managing of the distribution system and it will also require closer partnership and collaboration between agencies like Customs, the Bureau of Standards, the Supplies Control board as well as BSI and Ministry of Agriculture officials.”

Patrick Jones - Reporter
So you wouldn’t recommend that people start stocking up on sugar?

Damian Gough – Marketing Officer, BSI
“No I wouldn’t think it is necessary. As a precaution people can always try to make sure they keep an extra couple pounds set aside, we are going into the hurricane season; that could be a reason for stocking up a bit of sugar. In terms of supplies to the market we are estimating that based on the recent efforts that we have undertaken and the sugar that we have produced since the crop ended that we should be able to adequately supply the market.”

The Belize Bureau of Standards has issued a statement warning businesses that the limiting or withholding of sugar is a violation of the Supplies Control laws. If anyone is found in breach of the regulation they are liable for a fine of a thousand dollars or imprisonment for up to six months. Anyone who suspects that a particular business establishment is withholding sugar from them, you are asked to call the Supplies Control Unit at telephone number: 822-0446.

Live and let live
#413030 - 08/02/11 10:34 AM Re: Shortage of Sugar [Re: Short]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,028
Marty Online happy
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Government will crack down on those selling Belize sugar to Mexico, Guatemala

The Government of Belize announced this week that it will take punitive measures against those persons who are smuggling Belizean sugar across the border.

The Government has also issued a stop order to BSI- not to sell sugar to those merchants who cannot or will not provide a record of their domestic sale of sugar.

The measures are being taken because of the persistent shortage of sugar in retail stores for the last four weeks.

Belize Sugar Industries, the producers, say they are supplying enough sugar for everybody to have enough.

The Government of Belize announced this week it intends to crack down on sugar exporters.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has appointed a Marketing Committee to take measures to make sure that there is enough sugar on the local market because consumers continue to complain that they cannot get any to buy.

Reliable sources indicate that the scarcity is due to cross-border trade with Mexico and Guatemala, where prices are better.

To correct this situation the government aims to control the supply of sugar at the Tower Hill Sugar Factory, supplying sugar only to legitimate business operators and industrial users.

Government will require wholesalers and retailers to give an account of their sugar sales.

B.S.I. will not sell sugar to wholesalers and retailers who refuse to submit their sales records, or who cannot account for how they sell the sugar.

The Customs Department will investigate and deal with those persons and businesses who sell the local sugar abroad.

Members of the public who have reliable information about Belizean sugar being sold abroad are encouraged to call the Bureau of Consumer Protection hotline to report these incidents.

The number to call is 0-800-283-5587 to make a report. Any information given to the Bureau will be kept confidential and the name of the person(s) making the report will not be divulged.

The newly appointed Marketing Committee is comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Belize Sugarcane Farmers’ Association and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited.

The Reporter

#413033 - 08/02/11 11:39 AM Re: Shortage of Sugar [Re: Short]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,818
JZB Offline
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Thats great! Feed Belize First! This is a concept they should implement on all things grown and caught in Belize, especially lobsters.

#413058 - 08/02/11 06:16 PM Re: Shortage of Sugar [Re: JZB]  
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,206
SnoopysMom Offline
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Or better yet... grow more sugar and actually have a export industry to help support the economy besides tourism! Of course that would mean actually labeling it LOL

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