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Tate & Lyle gives JCPS new delivery date … court injunction railroads original sugar shipment schedule

Published:Friday | February 19, 2016 | 12:00 AMMark Titus
Karl James

Western Bureau:

The United Kingdom-based sugar refiner Tate & Lyle has given local marketing firm Jamaica Cane Product Sales (JCPS) additional time to deliver the first shipment of sugar in the 2015-2016 supply deal. The shipment was not sent due to a court injunction Algix Jamaica had taken out against Appleton Estate.

"Appleton, not having started [its crop year] at the expected time, has forced us to arrange a delay of the first cargo because a good portion of the sugar for Europe was to come from Appleton, supported by Worthy Park and a small amount from the Pan Caribbean Sugar factories," Karl James, the general manager of JCPS, told The Gleaner on Wednesday.

"Appleton is now over one month late, so I have spoken to Tate & Lyle, and they have agreed that we can send off our sugar in the second week of March instead of February month end. They are comfortable with this arrangement," stated James.

However, while the one-year deal with Tate & Lyle is seemingly safe, James could not say how the readjustment would affect the original projections

JCPS and the European firm penned a one-year arrangement for 48,000 tonnes of sugar with the option for an additional 16,000 tonnes for the 2015-2016 crop year, behind a combined projection total of 130,000 tonnes of sugar from the five factories in operation.

EFFLUENT CONCERNS

Algix Jamaica, which operates a fish farm in Siloah, St Elizabeth, close to the Appleton Estate, got an interim injunction against J. Wray & Nephew after claiming that effluent from Appleton Estate was entering its fish farm.

The injunction sparked protests by cane farmers, who argued that it was affecting their livelihood.

Shortly after, Allan Rickards, chairman of the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association, said that if the crop year at Appleton was delayed, it could spell disaster for the local sugar industry.

"Long Pond Estates (Everglades Farm) is not operating for this crop, so the cane that was there is to be shared between Worthy Park and Appleton," said Rickards. "In fact, 65,000 to 70,000 tonnes were slated to go to Appleton ... . Those suppliers are also in trouble."

mark.titus@gleanerjm.com