Fri | Apr 19, 2019

CDB grant to help CARICOM investigate suitability of white sugar

Published:Wednesday | April 3, 2019 | 1:09 PM
File photo

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is funding a technical study on the suitability of using plantation white sugar as a substitute for refined sugar in the region’s manufacturing sector.

Plantation white sugar is a white sugar commonly produced for local consumption in sugarcane-growing countries.

It is produced at the factory without remelting and refining of the raw sugar.

The bank, which is providing US$97,488 towards the initiative, is collaborating with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on the project that is aimed at improving the availability of data to guide evidence-based decisions about the future of sugar in the region.

The bank said that the findings will enhance the capacity of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) to make decisions on the CARICOM sugar regime and will also contribute to a wider exercise being undertaken by the Customs Committee of the COTED to comprehensively review the Common External Tariff.

It is also expected to facilitate the transition to the free circulation of goods and a more modernised application of rule of origin.

“We import two-thirds of the estimated 320,000 tonnes of the refined sugar consumed annually within CARICOM. If plantation white can be substituted for refined white sugar, regional producers can capture a larger share of the sugar market and the region can save considerable foreign exchange,” said CDB’s director of projects, Daniel Best.

“The findings of this study will provide, therefore, data needed to make critical investment decisions for the sugar industry,” he added.

Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Jamaica, the four sugar-producing countries in CARICOM, account for an average of 10 per cent of earnings from sugar exports.

In Belize, Guyana and Jamaica, the industry is also a major employer in rural communities, providing an average of 16,000 direct jobs.

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