Editorial

The laws governing a limited liability company and the regulations governing an organization such as the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association are so different and distinct that if one tried to super-impose a company structure on the membership association, it would result in disaster.

Companies operate on the ownership of shares. The persons with the most shares become the directors and have the most clout. Because of this, companies are not democratic organizations. They are, in essence, profit-making machines, and they drive the engine of development in free enterprise systems.

The Cane Farmers Organization of Belize is a membership organization of workers, unique in its own legal framework, but resembling a trade union, created for the purpose of representing cane farmers and helping them to become good producers. The Belize Cane Farmers Association has an infrastructure of branches and by-laws which would be unworkable under a corporate structure.

Only a madman would think of trying to incorporate the Christian Workers Union, or a private NGO like OCEANA into a limited liability company, or even into a public company. The BSCFA is as different from a company as a mammal is from a reptile.

The Belize Cane Farmers Association exists as a unique organization, brought into existence more than 50 years ago by a special set of laws, for the purpose of promoting and protecting the sugar cane industry.

Over the years, the organization has elected charlatans and opportunists who are interested primarily in their own self-agrandizement, and are using the organization to catapult themselves into politics. They have turned the BCSFA and its 5,000 odd members into a political lobbying group to suit their own personal ambitions.

The way to protect and preserve the BSCFA is for the canefarmer membership to throw out the false leaders and elect men of honour who have the best interest of the cane farmers at heart.

The energies put into creating a company with the same name as the BSCFA and disguising its true nature by omitting the word “company” or the word “limited” point to a naked power play which would put the assets of the Cane Farmers Association into real and imminent danger. Canefarmers would have no power under company law to reverse or strike down a resolution once it has been approved by a majority of the directors.

For these reasons, we regard the attempt to convert the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association to a limited liability company as a deliberate and dastardly act. It is a bold and blatant attempt at fraud, and it should be treated as a criminal offence.

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