YONKERS, N.Y. - American Sugar Refining became the majority shareholder of Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), the chief supplier of Fair Trade-certified sugar globally, the company announced.
BSI's previous shareholders, including BSI Employee Holdings Limited, continue to hold the remaining shares, American Sugar said.
"The BSI acquisition presented an opportunity to expand our sugar business by acquiring a majority interest in a key supplier of raw and direct consumption sugars to our refineries," said Luis Fernandez, co-president, American Sugar. "We plan to invest in the company and utilize our employees' depth of sugar expertise to expand BSI's operations and efficiencies to increase suppliers of raw sugar and value-added Fair Trade and specialty sugars to our operations to meet consumer demand."
BSI owns the only sugar mill in the country of Belize, and the company directly employes nearly 500 people and farms 4,000 acres of cane. The company processes the cane of 6,000 independent growers who farm roughly 55,000 acres, American Sugar said.
BSI produces raw sugar, demerara specialty sugars and white sugar. While the white sugar is sold within the domestic market, more than 85 percent of the company's total production is exported as raw sugar to the EU and US markets or as demerara to the UK and Canadian markets.