Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Belize Cane Farmers Associations are insincere about 2011 cane crop production?


From listening to both sides present their views on the Sugar Industry in the media. Both the Cane Farmers Associations reprsenting 6000 cane farmers and the BSI Sugar Factory, it seems to me, the CANE FARMERS are just going to repeat 2010 fiasco and the 2011 crop will be lost and the industry ruined.
As an outsider looking in and listening to the debate, the core issue is QUALITY and SCHEDULING of deliveries. For this to happen, the Cane Farmers, have to install a QUALITY CONTROL unit of their own, before trucks arrive at the BSI processing factory. They have already shown violence and stolen the original quality core sampler. Yet you cannot pay 6000 farmers equal pay for weight delivered to the factory, if the content is not equal.
What is apparent to me, is that and let us guess a bit here, about 10% of the 6000 cane farmers are GREEDY, SELF SERVING CRIMINALS. That would assume 600 cane farmers are going to load trash in their trucks, immature cane and old cane, plus mud and make useless deliveries and expect the Factory to receive this junk. The actual number of GREEDY self serving cane farmers could be smaller, or larger. The mud content has risen from 2% to 9% in the last four years say the factory and is slowing the factory down and costing everybody money.
My experiences in the lobster cooperative business of forty years ago, can draw on that experience, when our Co-op had something similar happen. Lobster fishermen were filling the gut canal with scraps of tail meat, to gain weight when delivering lobster. What happened was, that that meat spoiled and when a container load of lobster tails arrived on the docks at New Orleans, the Customs guy when inspecting would open the container doors and get one whiff of the spoiled meat and condemn the whole container of packaged lobster tails. We lost about three container loads of lobster tails valued at $25,000 USA each back in those days, which was a lot of money for a struggling cooperative. Consequently the cooperative had to put in severe quality control inspectors at different points, looking for bad deliveries by voting members, who were selling the cooperative bad weight. Those caught were denied the ability to sell their lobster to the cooperative, despite their membership. For a year or two as I recollect? They had to sell their lobster to some other lobster fisherman acting as a middleman and consequently lost a bunch of money in the process.
Human nature doesn´t change and GREED is at work in the Cane Farmers Association just like it happened to us, back 40 years ago.
You got a bunch of greedy cane farmers selling MUD, bad cane stalks and since they get paid equally well as everybody else, are basically stealing from their fellow cane farmer members, as poor deliveries to the factory result in quantity of sugar and extend the delivery season, costing all of them money. In the past four years, the sugar delivery from the factory has declined drastically due to this practice.
Since the wild bunch, in the Cane Farmers Associations have destroyed the attempt by the factory to do quality control of each truck and pay according to quality of that cane, then these greedy cane farmers who are acting criminally and short sighted against the best interests of the whole 6000 cane farmers are destroying their industry, of which they as a whole get 65% of the money earned from exporting sugar. It is now up to the Cane Farmers Association to police their own membership. I see an MOU, or Memorandum of Understanding with sweet words of cooperation and promises of better deliveries, but there is no meat in the bun of that argument. Nothing will change this 2011 season, as it stands right now.
The only way this 2011 season can work, is if the Cane Farmer Associations finance their own quality control shack and inspect each truck delivering cane BEFORE it reaches the processing factory.
I can think of two ways of doing this. You could reject bad cane and mud of a truck load and turn the delivering cane farmer away, to go back home undelivered. Or you could grade the quality of a truck of cane and give them an A, B, C. grading. Grade A delivered would get equal price for weight, the same as everybody else. Or a B grade could get half price for the weight of cane in that truck, found deficient. Or a C grade could award them 20% of the value of the weight of cane of that truck delivery.
Since the Cane Farmers membership has rejected by VIOLENCE AND THEFT the BSI setup to judge truck cane quality, then the Associations have to pay for such quality control to be done by themselves. Every bad load is taking money out of the good farmers pockets. The sooner they realize that, the better the sugar quality will rise and the exports increase. Otherwise SAYONARA baby, to the SUGAR INDUSTRY! Thats my opinion! I see nothing in the MOU about the Cane Farmers doing this except some vague promises of the HONOR SYSTEM. That is a bunch of horse manure. Never work, human nature is greedy by nature and without strict quality controls the sugar industry is doomed. The Cane Farmers Association will have to police themselves and it is going to cost them money.

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