Saturday, July 16, 2011



Seems the BSI owners/management are on a Lord Ashcroft kind of rampage. Abusing their sugar and molasses monopoly. They don´t want any competition.

While the government is investing oodles of millions in GRANT MONEY to try and teach a new generation of graduates and workers to be entrepreneurs. Some entrepreneurs actually have been successful, in repackaging, exporting, transporting and marketing a couple of tons of sugar a year to nearby Guatemala. Sort of cottage industry, entrepreneurial level. They had to find the small markets in the Peten, do the value added packaging, transportation and so forth. Big investment for a small cottage industry entrepreneur. The marketing advantage was the small size of the Peten market where prices were double what sugar cost in Belize. This apparently triggered alarm bells in the managment of BSI. HEY! We got competition for our basic product they said. We need to get the government to kill this.
The problems as the sugar BSI monopoly see it, is the allegations they make is that the export trade is illegal, done by smuggling. Nobody yet has proved those unsubstantiated allegations. Anyway, the point is irrelevant, or should be to BSI, this is a problem for customs and border patrol, if true.

Their big complaint is that they are forced to sell sugar at government controlled prices to locals. The locals are complaining, that the BSI management are abusing their sugar production monopoly. They don´t want any marketing, value added, exporting, competition.

As an outsider looking into this problem, I think local mid level entrepreneurs would be beneficial to the economy, by spreading around the money earned from finding an export niche sugar product. Sugar cubes for instance. Unfortunately, the BSI management are plain jealous. The market in the Peten is too small for them to bother with and they don´t want anybody else making a product from their basic commodity. Just like Lord Aschroft did and every other monopoly holder.

What BELIZE needs in the economy is diversification, competition and another one or two small sugar mills would do that. Now if only the sugar cane farmers could get together and buy and build some very small sugar mills, to explore sugar and molasses products with Value Added marketing goals for exports. Obviously, BSI will NEVER do this. Like any monopoly they are holding back creation of jobs, creation of exports, diversification of our economic base. Building in stagnation. So far, they are controlling as a monopoly, the amount of sugar they will sell to the local market. This is not good for Belize.

One ETHANOL speculator says he would produce a small amount of ETHANOL, as he thinks there is a market for it. The thing holding him back is the BSI Monopoly of Molasses. They could bankrupt him in a flash, like Lord Ashcroft did with INTELCO. From all appearances, they would do that too.

No comments: