Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Sugar players say no action will leave industry dead in five years

Published:Thursday | March 31, 2016 | 3:00 AM
Karl James, general manager of Jamaica Cane Products Sales; chairman, Sugar Association of the Caribbean
Ambassador Derick Heaven, former chair, Council of International Sugar Organisation; board member, Sugar Industry Authority
Alan Rickards, chairman, All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers’ Association
Ken Newman, large sugar cane farmer
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Given the fragmentation, inefficiencies and attendant problems facing the sugar industry if we fail to take remedial action now, will we have an industry in five years?

Karl James, general manager, Jamaica Cane Products Sales; chairman, Sugar Association of the Caribbean

"Jamaica Cane Products Sales has proven that pooling everybody together has been the most successful way of marketing Jamaica's production to this point."

Ambassador Derick Heaven, former chair, Council of International Sugar Organisation; board member, Sugar Industry Authority

"You have listed all the things that could mean the demise of the industry, and if none of those things is corrected, it could meet its demise before 2021. The fact is all of those things are within our capacity to correct."

Allan Rickards, chairman, All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers' Association

"There are decisions that people have to take now based on hard-core business principles that they will be taking, pushed by the younger generation especially, and I would agree with Ambassador Heaven that if there is not immediate action, then 2021 will be academic."

Kenneth Newman, large sugar cane farmer

"The area where I farm is one of the most efficient factories, and we have the best quality juice. But unless there is a significant increase in the price paid for sugar, whether it be for the local market or value added, we will be out of business. Survival all depends on the price that we are paid."