Gov’t to Tackle Sale of Imported Refined Sugar in Retail Trade

Photo: Marlon Tingling Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister , Hon. Karl Samuda (right), observes sugar cane processing activities at the Long Pond Sugar Factory, during a tour of the Clark’s Town Trelawny-based facility on July 8. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Donovan Stanberry (3rd right); and Mayor of Falmouth, Garth Wilkinson (2nd right), also look on.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, says the Government will be moving to tackle the problem of imported refined sugar for use in the manufacturing sector, which ends up in the retail trade.
  • Minister Samuda was speaking during a tour of the Long Pond Sugar Factory in Trelawny on Friday (July 8).
  • Minister Samuda said the sector is important to Jamaica and continues to be a leading provider of jobs, with some 50,000 persons employed.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, says the Government will be moving to tackle the problem of imported refined sugar for use in the manufacturing sector, which ends up in the retail trade.

“You cannot have sugar being produced…brought back having been refined and then you have manufacturers, who use that refined sugar as raw material, and get duty concession, selling it in the retail trade at enormous profit. It undermines those who are engaged in the industry and we are going to put a stop to it,” he said.

Minister Samuda was speaking during a tour of the Long Pond Sugar Factory in Trelawny on Friday (July 8).

He said the Jamaica Bureau of Standards (JBS) has been asked to play a key role in the process of ensuring that breaches are addressed.

“The Bureau of Standards has been given instructions and they have to produce that within the next two months maximum, where every single bag of sugar must bear the seal of the Bureau of Standards and anywhere we go and find one bag that doesn’t have that seal, we are seizing it. We are going to charge those who have it,” he warned.

Minister Samuda said Jamaica cannot sacrifice its sugar industry, which supports so many families “who have invested blood, sweat and money into it”.

“As your Minister, I am 100 per cent behind the sugar industry. I am 100 per cent behind the continuation and expansion and improvement of the sugar industry,” he said. Meanwhile, he urged stakeholders to invest in value-added production in order for the sector to remain viable.

“The future of sugar does not lie in the traditional approach to how we sell sugar. We must leave that behind us and now move to value-added because I have never been able to understand why we have continued to sell raw sugar then it is refined and sold back to us,” he contended.

“What is wrong with us refining it and probably selling it back to them?” Minister Samuda questioned.

He noted that the sugar industry is prime for new and major investments at all levels and that the roles of the farmers and investors should be clearly defined.

Minister Samuda said the sector is important to Jamaica and continues to be a leading provider of jobs, with some 50,000 persons employed.

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