Big sugar conference in MoBay starts today
The 45th Annual International Sugar Organization (ISO) Council conference, which will feature delegates from 87 sugar-producing countries, begins today at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, St James.
The three-day event, which is being held under the theme 'Positioning for the New Market Frontiers', will see more than 100 delegates from the 87-member countries. The delegate list includes Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who is the prime minister of the Republic of Fiji and the immediate past chairman of the ISO.
According to Ambassador Derick Heaven, the incumbent ISO council chairman, a range of issues relating to the global sugar industry are to be addressed.
The topics include energy co-generation, financing, and research and sugar export markets.
"These are discussions that will help to chart the course for the future of sugar and how it will benefit sugar-producing states," said Heaven.
Developments related to export markets for sugar in the post-2017 period are also expected to be on the agenda.
Roger Clarke, Jamaica's minister of agriculture and fisheries, believes the hosting of the conference is timely.
"These are very important issues because the changes expected from the European Union in 2017 will mean greater competition for Jamaica from other lower-cost producers, so Jamaica must now take advantage of the possibilities in the regional market for both raw and refined sugar, as well as increasing our productivity," said Clarke.
The ISO is an intergovernmental body based in London, England. It was established by the International Sugar Agreement of 1968 as the body responsible for administering the agreement.