Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Sugar export to Europe limping along

Published:Friday | March 18, 2016 | 12:00 AMMark Titus
Karl James

Western Bureau:

The Jamaica Cane Product Sales (JCPS) is now fine-tuning its preparation to send off its first shipment of 24 tonnes of sugar to British Firm Tate and Lyle by the end of this month. The JCPS was given an extension for its first shipment late last year.

"As you know, we got an extension to deliver our first shipment, and we are on target to send off that shipment of 20 to 24 tonnes by the end of March as we agreed," Karl James, the general manager of JCPS, told The Gleaner yesterday.

"I will be waiting to hear from Appleton tomorrow (today) regarding the court injunction taken out against them, and then I can speak more definitively on the remainder of the crop year," added James.

JCPS and the European firm penned a one-year arrangement for 48,000 tonnes of sugar with the option of an additional 16,000 tonnes for the 2015-2016 crop year. This was against the background that it was projected that the five factories in operation would collectively produce 130,000 tonnes of sugar.

The United Kingdom-based sugar refiner gave JCPS additional time after the first shipment was affected by a court injunction, which Algix Jamaica, the operators of a fish farm in St Elizabeth, took out against Appleton Estate.

Algix Jamaica, whose fish farm is based in Siloah in proximity 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 several days of protests by cane farmers, especially from Siloah and adjoining communities, who argued that the court action, which affected Appleton's operation, was affecting their livelihood.

However, in a press release to the media yesterday, Maurice Reynolds, the managing director of Algix, argued that the injunction obtained against J. Wray & Nephew did not require the closing down of the operations of Appleton Estate.

"The injunction only sought to stop J. Wray & Nephew's Appleton Estate from contaminating the Black River with trade effluent above the legally prescribed limits," said Reynolds.