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“Foreign sugar threatening Caribbean jobs,” says Sugar Association of the Caribbean

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Posted: Monday, June 3, 2019. 1:12 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) is calling for the protection of the region’s sugar industry through policy changes addressing the large amount of sugar being imported from outside of the Caribbean.

The SAC’s board met in Belize at the end of May, to discuss issues affecting the industry; chief among these is that two-thirds of the
sugar consumed in the Caribbean comes from outside the region, which displaces some 200 thousand metric tons of Caribbean sugar. The SAC board emphasized that the policy changes are needed to protect the future of the industry within the region.

“A failure to achieve this threatens a major agricultural sector of the region’s economy, hundreds of thousands of Caribbean jobs and
questions the effectiveness of the single market in meeting its stated objectives,” the SAB board said.

The board added that it has been 18 months since the loss of preferential markets in the European Union and countries within the
region are still struggling to find solutions to the problems the loss has caused.

Last year, the association began talks with CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) last year, stressing that the region produces enough sugar to satisfy its own market demand and thus does not need the high influx of extra-regional sugar.

The SAC, which is currently chaired by American Sugar Refineries Group
owned Belize Sugar Industries is made up of the four countries in the region that still produces sugar for export: Jamaica, Guyana, Belize, and Barbados. St. Kitts along with Trinidad and Tobago, both saw their sugar industries collapse by the end of 2017, which further emphasizes the need for the policy reforms that the association is pushing for.

 

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