Sun | Feb 18, 2018

Plantation white versus refined sugar in manufacturing process - gov't to find solution

Published:Saturday | February 3, 2018 | 3:47 PM
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda addresses members of the manufacturing sector at a sugar stakeholders meeting held at the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association’s Duke Street offices on January 31. - Contributed Photo

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda has sought to assure that no decision will be taken using plantation white sugar as a substitute for refined sugar in the manufacturing process without agreement from members of the manufacturing sector.

CARICOM’s Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) has asked the Sugar Association of the Caribbean to conduct regional consultations with manufacturers who use refined sugar in their manufacturing processes.

Currently, imported refined sugar is used in the manufacturing trade to make items such as sugary drinks and baked goods. While it is possible to use the less refined regionally made plantation white sugar for this purpose, it will cost manufacturers more to do so.

Speaking to manufacturers at a stakeholder meeting on Wednesday at the offices of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association, Samuda noted that the move to replace refined sugar with plantation white could prove beneficial to the region in the long term.

Samuda assured that the Government will work to find a solution that will mutually benefit the local sugar industry and manufacturers.

“It’s not the government’s intention to impose any strictures in promoting what at this stage is just a theory. It is going to depend largely on what you the manufacturers say. This is not something that government wants to force on you. Nothing of the kind,” said Minister Samuda.

Consultations on the matter are ongoing.