Executive Chairman of the Sugar Industry Authority (SIA), Ambassador Derrick Heaven, has commenced discussions with all the relevant parties to resolve the issues concerning the closure of the Long Pond Sugar Factory in Trelawny, for the next crop season.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton updates the House of Representatives, on July 13 on the divestment of the Frome, Monymusk and Bernard Lodge Sugar Estates and issues relating to the closure of the Long Pond sugar factory.
This follows a mandate from Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, to address the matter.
“It was very unfortunate that key stakeholders in the industry only learned of the impending closure via the media,” Dr. Tufton told the House of Representatives in a statement on July 13.
He said that while the Trelawny Sugar Estate, where the factory is sited, was divested to Everglades Farm Limited a year ago, the new owners are still subject to the regulations of the SIA, and that they had in fact indicated that the rehabilitation that the factory needs, requires a suspension of operations.
“It was well known before the divestment that the factory required substantial rehabilitation and overhaul. In the circumstances therefore, what is critical is that attendant issues in relation to the takeover of farmers’ cane are adequately addressed,” the Minister said.
Dr. Tufton added that he was satisfied that the SIA could resolve the matter amicably, as the existing regulatory structure provides appropriate mechanism to do so.
On another matter, Dr. Tufton informed that the Sugar Commission of Inquiry, which began on June 14, had seen a number of critical stakeholders making presentations at the hearings.
“We still hold to the September 30, 2010 deadline for the submission of the recommendations of the Commission,” he assured. The recommendations from the inquiry will inform the future legal, regulatory and institutional framework of the industry.