Producer Profiles

BSCFA - Belize Sugar Cane Farmer's Association

Sugar cane production and exports make up about 60 percent of Belize's agricultural sector. An estimated 6,000 farmers grow sugarcane while many others are involved in the processing and packaging phases. In northern Belize, where most cane is grown, about 85 percent of the population relies on the sugar industry. Many farmers are smallholders with very little land and face a series of challenges, including Hurricane Dean in 2007 which devastated many of the plantations.

The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) joined the Fair Trade movement in 2008 to benefit their farmers. In addition to rebuilding infrastructure after the hurricane, the cooperative used its Fair Trade premiums to develop a variety of social programs that would benefit the community.
 

Quotable

We are very happy for the ways Fair Trade is assisting us. We are using premium funds for social and environmental projects that enhance farmers' lives.

I think it is very important Fair Trade certification maintains high expectations and standards. We are honored to be a member of the Fair Trade system and do not take our responsibilities as members lightly. Keeping the standards strong is in the best interest of our farmers in Belize.

We want to ensure that if our farmers' children want to be cane farmers, they can. If they want to go to school, they can. We want to ensure that they do not go to bed hungry at night. This is what we think Fair Trade is doing to benefit the country of Belize.

Fair Trade provides us with great support and tools to remedy our concerns and needs.  

David Madrid, GM

Programs

Public Utility Services

In 2011, BSCFA planned to improve the community's public utility services. The project would focus on getting better access to drinking water and improving the sewage system. The project would also improve the community's electrical system.

Environmental Protection and Development

BSCFA planned to inaugurate a new system in 2011 focusing on environmental protection. As part of the system, the cooperative plans to plant trees and manage garbage collection and waste recycling.

Social Infrastructure

In 2011, BSCFA sought to build an infrastructure that would enhance the social welfare of the community. BSCFA has plans to build a social hall or community center.