Jamaica looks to diversification as EU preferential trade deal ends
Jamaica and other sugar producing countries in the Caribbean are concentrating on value-added and diversification to sustain their sugar industries as the preferential trade with the European Union (EU) comes to an end in September.
Chairman of the Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC), Karl James, says sugar producers will now have to push more aggressively to create value added products post-EU.
Speaking on Independent Talk this morning, James said, like Belize, Jamaica will be targeting production of plantation white sugar, which is a grade below totally refined sugar.
He says liquid sugar and ethanol are other products being targeted as part of the renewed thrust to diversify the sugar industry.
The former general manager of Jamaica Cane Product Sales says Jamaica, like the other sugar producers, will be looking to supply the sweetener to their respective local markets, as well as the CARICOM and wider Commonwealth markets to fill the gap to be left by the EU, which will no longer buy Jamaican sugar at preferential prices.
James says the local and regional markets were not previously seen as viable, but that has now changed.