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Oct 2, 2019

CARICOM Market Flooded with Sugar from Outside the Region

Agriculture officials from CARICOM member states are meeting this week in Belize to discuss and get consensus on matters they want to advance. The meetings began since Monday and today, CARICOM sugar stakeholders met to address the matter of selling sugar, primarily plantation white sugar, on the CARICOM Market.  Director of the Belize Sugar Industry and Belize’s representative on the Sugar Association of the Caribbean, Mac McLachlan said it is a huge week for the industry since it has been labouring on this very issue since Belize lost the European Union’s preferential prices. Belize has been left to seek new markets to sell its sugar and one of these is the CARICOM market. But getting Belize’s sugar on the CARICOM market is not a simple matter. Caribbean sugar producers, Belize included are saying that the demand for sugar in the region is of about three hundred thousand tons.  Two hundred thousand tons of it is imported from outside CARICOM, even though CARICOM sugar producers are milling up to five hundred thousand tons. This is then displacing regional sugar producers in the CARICOM market.

 

Mac McLachlan

Mac McLachlan, Director, B.S.I.

“What every region does in the world, it utilizes its own sugar product. It’s very unusual in CARICOM that so much extra regional sugar is imported into the region when there is such a high production of sugar that is then forced to be exported at very low global market prices. So the purpose of this stakeholder meeting is to examine, with an analysis with what happens in the rest of the world and what happens in CARICOM of the use of the types of sugar that are produced in the region and whether or not they can be used in industrial processes in CARICOM in order to replace the use of imported extra regional sugar coming into the region. We just heard an excellent presentation about that and its basically pointing out in many parts of the world that quality sugar, the milled white sugar that is produced in the CARICOM is utilized for most manufacturing needs around the world. Sometimes for certain beverage franchise manufacturers they require certain standards of sugar which can be attained through additional treatment of plantation white sugar but that is a very reasonable investment to make.”


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