How will the Caribbean Sugar industry move forward Print
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Written by Jem smith   
Thursday, 30 March 2017 00:00

Friday, March 24, 2017 marked the end of a two-day workshop in Jamaica at the JAMPRO Offices. The industry presented its position for the future of Caribbean sugar to the ministers of CARICOM. The workshop convened on the advice and support of the Caribbean Council, the CARICOM Secretariat, and JAMPRO. It was funded by the EU, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, ASR Group, and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Karl James, Chairman of the Sugar Association of the Caribbean, commented that the changes in sugar policies in Europe mean that there will be a fall in our sugar princes in the European region. The EU’s quota management for sugar will end September 30, 2017. A fall in prices is expected towards the international sugar price and a decrease in sugar imports from the ACP, with particular impact on Caribbean producers. The EU export market is currently our largest which means that the effects will be felt in our own region.

We need to now focus our attention on our own regional sugar market. James also mentioned that while governments throughout the world place tariff protection on their sugar industries, that is something the Caribbean region fails in carrying out. While we produce our own sugar, we lose profits to imported sugar.

To modernize the approach, James believes that while the effects on individual consumers will be negligible, the industry will have the opportunities to attract investments while mechanizing the industry and providing quality jobs and a sustainable future to sugar in the Caribbean. James urged the ministers to adopt the recommendations presented in the industry position paper in an effort to regain management of the industry.
Chris Bennett, Managing Director of the Caribbean Council, remarked that the ideas presented by the sugar industrialists prove that Caribbean sugar can be modernized while being a high value component. He expressed that the Caribbean should not have to depend on Europe for productivity and profit and that the Caribbean needs to quickly adapt the trade and tariff policies implemented everywhere else in the world.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 March 2017 16:21