BSI breaks ground for $22M investment Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 20 September 2017 00:00

Belize Sugar Industries Limited broke ground on Monday September 18 for the construction of facilities that will see the production of direct consumption sugar in Belize. According to a press release, the company will invest Bze. 22 Million dollars in the facility. The decision comes even before the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has signed on to a cane purchase agreement with the mill. In its release BSI was unapologetic with proceeding with the investment quoting ASR Group VP of International Relations, Mac McLachlan as follows: “In this industry, the convoy cannot sail at the speed of the slowest ship. We need action now. That is why BSI, with the support of all but one of the industry stakeholders, has decided to move ahead with this significant investment for the benefit of the whole industry and nation. We sincerely hope that the divisiveness we have seen in this industry in recent years disappears with the preferential EU pricing that supported this luxury in the past.”

With the investment BSI intends to increase its capacity to produce direct consumption sugar which attracts a higher price than raw sugar to the markets to which Belize supplies sugar to. In its release BSI states that “Through BSI’s investment, the company strategically hopes to mitigate the shock of falling sugar prices and therefore cane prices by producing more value added products.”

Belize along with other sugar producing African, Caribbean and the Pacific, countries will be losing preferential quota treatment for sugar in the European Market in October of this year. With that Belize’s sugar will have to compete along with world market prices in sugar as well as beet sugar produced in Europe. BSI’s release quotes ASR Group Country Manager Celestino Ruiz saying, “We are at a critical time; in fact, time is simply not on our side.We have been raising the alarm since these market changes were announced in 2013. In this current environment it is sink or swim, and we have no intention of drowning.  Therefore, we must act decisively and strategically.We believe in Belize and the future of the Belize sugar industry and our significant investment launched today demonstrates our seriousness.”