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#478141 - 11/23/13 04:35 AM The Impact Of The Sugar Cane Industry In Belize  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 53,004
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

The sugar cane industry of Belize has endured many challenges in the past and has been a solid socio-economic engine for northern Belize and the country. Historically, and even today, we continue to depend heavily on the European Union market access for the survival and resiliency of our sugar industry. But with the on-going dispute between BSI and BSCFA on the revenue profit sharing of sales generated by the Bio Fuel better known as the bagasse, the industry is at risk.

While this issue has been making headlines for quite some time now, it is anyone’s guess if and when the parties involved will find common ground. What is of concern to others is the economic downfall that can potentially harm the industry and Belize on a whole. Some fear that if the 2013/2014 crop season is delayed, the effects would be disastrous.

David Acosta – Retired principal.

“En el nivel económico, el aspecto económico sería algo negativo pero yo estoy 100% apoyando a los caneros en el sentido que si van a conseguir algo, van hacer más participes en la economía que les da su producción, entonces es necesario que BSI les pague para el bagazo porque es un bi-product, tienen un de acuerdo desde el 2002 a donde una clausula lo menciona entonces allí los caneros tienen una base y yo lo que quisiera decirle a los caneos y al pueblo de Belice a Corozal y a Orange Walk es de que para todo bien que va venir es necesario un sacrificio y si los caneros están peleando para un beneficio para el pueblo del norte entonces tiene que haber sacrificio.”

With the Sugar Industry being one of the back bones of the Belizean economy and the main revenue earner for the north a dispute between Belize Sugar Industries Limited and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association only spells but one word, trouble.

David Acosta – Retired principal.

“El distrito de Corozal y Orange Walk dependen de la azúcar porque mete bastante divisa, no solo para Corozal y Orange Walk sino para el país entero entonces se sentiría en las bolsas de los caneros y el pueblo de Corozal, negativamente ese sería el impacto a la economía directa a Corozal y Orange Walk. De darse un parro como lo están mencionando entonces naturalmente habría unos escases de azúcar, el precio de azúcar subiría, sería un poquito más carro pienso yo pero vuelvo a decir, el pueblo tiene que entender que para cualquier bien o bien estar que estamos buscando para los caneros tiene que haber este sacrificio.”

And in a larger scale, the absence of a sugar industry means a decrease in foreign exchange earnings which translate to a reduction in our ability to pay for import. For many of us, finding common ground and resolving the issue is of utmost importance as the livelihoods and future of thousands are at stake.

CTV3


Video: Yo Creek (Belize) Hand Planting Sugar Cane, Part I, 1min.
Thanks to Gabriella Locke who took the video on June 11, 2013.

Video: Yo Creek (Belize) Hand Planting Sugar Cane, Part II, 1min.

Video: Yo Creek (Belize) Preparing Sugar Cane to Eat, 1min.

Video: Harvesting Sugarcane, Orange Walk, Belize, 1min.
Farmers harvesting sugarcane north of Orange Walk Town, Belize, on June 8, 2014

Video: Crab Loading Sugarcane on Truck, Orange Walk, Belize, 3min.
Students aboard a crab loading sugarcane on a truck north of Orange Walk Town, Belize, on June 8, 2014


#492249 - 06/13/14 01:24 PM Re: The Impact Of The Sugar Cane Industry In Belize [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 53,004
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Belize 2014 X from Simon Rawles on Vimeo.

Video: Fairtrade in Belize

In the cane fields and social projects in the villages. Interviews with Alfredo Ortega, Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Mauricio Mejia, WWF Agriculture Programme Officer, and cane farmers. Technical assistance for cane farmers, better pest control. Learning to work a different way.


#492524 - 06/20/14 05:43 AM Re: The Impact Of The Sugar Cane Industry In Belize [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 53,004
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Video: Sugar Cane Factory Tour, Belize, 11min.
Sugar cane factory tour in Orange Walk Town, Belize, on June 14, 2014

Video: Sugar Cane Field Fire, Belize, 2min.
Sugar cane field fire before harvest near San Lazaro, Belize, on June 19, 2014.


When is the Cane Mature and ready to Harvest?

Use a refractometer to determine maturity index of sugar cane. When the brix of the top is equal or close to the brix of the bottom it is ready to harvest. Anything equal to or above 85% maturity index is ready to harvest. Courtesy: BSI/ASR



#522436 - 03/20/17 12:20 PM Re: The Impact Of The Sugar Cane Industry In Belize [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 53,004
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Europe Is Waving Goodbye to Sugar Cane

Europeans’ taste for sugar transformed the world.

West Indies plantations built from the 17th century to feed demand drove a nexus of commerce, capital and manufacturing that fomented the industrial revolution and modern financial markets.

More than three hundred years later, Europe is set to deliver a crippling blow to a trade that once made up almost a fifth of its entire imports, and has sustained developing-country sugar cane farmers since.

The European Union’s decision to remove limits on its own beet-sugar output from October means less demand for cane growers from Jamaica in the Caribbean, to the Pacific island of Fiji, and Swaziland in southern Africa.

“Within a decade or so, I can see the EU market for raw sugar from the Caribbean being all but a matter of history,” said David Jessop, an adviser to companies and governments on trade and investment in the region. "The challenge from the Caribbean perspective is what they can do, if anything, to ensure the future of their industry."

Jamaica, Belize and Mauritius were among a group of more than 10 nations that benefited from quota- and duty-free access for 1.6 million metric tons of mostly raw-sugar shipments to the EU in 2015-16. The amount, which can vary year-by-year, represented about half the European bloc’s imports of the commodity.

While the countries will retain those privileges, their high-cost cane plantations may struggle to compete against EU beet farmers who are boosting yields and increasing scale. European output may expand by about 17 percent to more than 20 million tons and imports sink by about half with the changes, Rabobank says.

Click for the rest of the article in Bloomberg News

#522444 - 03/21/17 05:56 AM Re: The Impact Of The Sugar Cane Industry In Belize [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 53,004
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

EU Says Goodbye To Sugar Cane

Belize along with various other countries who belong to the European Union’s preferential market are now bracing for direct competition following the recent EU reform on world sugar prices. In view of the introduction of beet sugar in Europe, Belize will no longer enjoy the preferential rates on sugar it has experienced in the past, thus, a reduction in prices of the sweetener is inevitable for Belizean cane farmers.

While Belize will continue to benefit from quota- and duty-free access for 1.6 million metric tons of mostly raw-sugar shipments to the EU, Belizean Sugar which stands among the highest production costs may struggle to compete against EU beet farmers who are boosting yields and increasing scale. And with eighty percent of Belizean produced sugar exporting to the EU the market is in no doubt facing troubling times. In a report analysis issued by the European page “BloombergMarkets”, Gerald Mason, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at London-based refiner Tate & Lyle Sugars, is quoted as saying "It’s not that we want to leave those suppliers behind, but if Europe has made the white sugar market really competitive, we have to have access to more competitive supplies."

Under the EU, Belize is considered a market with limited alternatives and high production cost. Changes in world prices and the pressure to compete with other sugar producers can have a heavy impact on BSI/ASR, cane farmers and the economy of Belize.

Over the past years, Belize has become very dependent on sugar exports and reforms such as this can result in a deep dent on the sugar industry’s future. At the start of the 2016-2017 Sugar cane crop season back in December of last year Vice President of International Relations for ASR, Mac McLachlan, spoke of the changes that need to be done to ensure that Belize remains competitive in the new market which includes lowering the cost of production significantly which means that farmers need to start increasing productivity if they are to remain competitive in the industry. David Jessop, an adviser to companies and governments on trade and investment in the region is quoted as saying “Within a decade or so, I can see the EU market for raw sugar from the Caribbean being all but a matter of history”. The challenge from the Caribbean perspective, says Jessop, is what they can do, if anything, to ensure the future of their industry."

Prepared or not come, October 2017, the quotas that have always been a constraint for beet sugar will be lifted and beet sugar producers will be free to produce as much sugar as they like in the European Market. "It’ll be very much a question of the survival of the fittest," said Devesh Dukhira, Chief Executive Officer of the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate, representing growers. The question now is, if Belize can survive the fierce competition that is to come.

Caribbean nations are expected to meet in Kingston, Jamaica, this month to discuss the "existential threats" to the industry.

CTV3



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