THE EDITOR, Sir:
As of February 2013, the cane farmers in Westmoreland will have to pay an additional $246/ton to contractors. This amount is labelled as 'hoist bypass fee'.
These contractors already got an increase from $1,163.10/ton in 2012 to $1,221.72/ton in 2013. They will now receive a grand total of $1,446.72/ton.
Cane farmers are now receiving an average of about $1,600/ton. We have to buy herbicides and fertiliser, and pay workers. This was imposed on us.
A representative on the board is a contractor. This is a conflict of interest; he is not representing the cane farmers. We need someone to listen to us and a voice to cry out for us.
The sugar industry is heading for disaster. We cannot absorb this unrealistic fee. We are restless. We are going out of business.