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Feb 9, 2018

Belize Rides the Wave of Regional Push for Direct Consumption Sugar

The proposed move to transition to direct consumption sugar continues to be discussed among millers across the region, Jamaica being the latest country to endorse the idea of producing plantation white sugar for the CARICOM market.  It is described by manufacturers, including ASR/BSI, as a win-win situation for stakeholders in the industry.  Earlier today, News Five sat with Mac McLachlan, Vice President of International Relations for ASR/BSI, at Tower Hill.  He explains that the Sugar Association of the Caribbean remains in dialogue with its members to gradually shift to supplying the Caribbean with direct consumption sugar.

 

Mac McLachlan

Mac McLachlan, VP International Relations, ASR/B.S.I.

“It’s a very exciting time for sugar industries in the Caribbean, I believe.  In Belize, Belize Sugar Industries has been supplying all the sugar for the domestic market for a long period of time, both for consumption and for manufacturing use.  In other parts of the Caribbean, that hasn’t always been the case, even in countries where sugar is produced.  There are reasons behind which are largely historical reasons now.  A lot of sugar used to be shipped out of the Caribbean into the European Union because, frankly, there were high prices in the European Union at the time.  From October last year, the EU market changed, the regime changed and those prices have now fallen back to the global market prices which at this time are quite suppressed due to oversupply in the market globally.  Because of that situation a lot of manufacturers in the Caribbean region have been importing sugar from other countries outside the Caribbean, very efficient producers of sugar and they have been importing that sugar.  Because there wasn’t the availability of that sugar at the time they were importing it without paying the common external tariff on those sugar.  What the Sugar Association of the Caribbean have been doing now for really the better part of the last year, is stimulating a conversation with manufacturers about how we can start to supply the full market in the Caribbean with sugars produced in the Caribbean.  We’re really talking about the integration of the sugar market throughout CARICOM.  What we are doing is explaining the benefits to manufacturers of that and also what we see as the future of our sugars which is that we as sugar producers will continue to increase quality of the sugars we produce to make sure that they are fit for purpose, that they are fit for the market into which we are trying to sell them.”

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