The Sugar Association of the Caribbean represents sugar producers in Jamaica, Guyana, Belize and Barbados.

All told 400,000 CARICOM citizens rely on the industry which produces over 450kmt of sugar a year. Presently about three quarters of this is exported to the EU for further refining instead of meeting CARICOM’s domestic demand.

At the forthcoming COTED Trade Ministers meeting to be held in Guyana from Nov. 18, Trade Ministers have been asked to endorse three outcomes from the COTED Agriculture Ministers meeting which took place in October concerning sugar.

They are: that refined sugar would be ineligible for Conditional Duty Exemptions when regionally produced white sugar meets the quantity and specifications required by industrial users of sugar. that a monitoring mechanism for all sugars to determine the match of availability and demand requirements to ensure support to regional production of sugar must be urgently implemented and that the CARICOM Secretariat must develop the necessary Terms of Reference and initiate the process before the end of 2019. that Member States must immediately apply the CET regime to all brown sugar entering the CARICOM Single Market.

At a CARICOM Sugar Stakeholders’ Meeting held in October, CARICOM sugar producers signaled their willingness to invest in production of sugar to the quality and quantity required by industrial users of sugars. To underpin that investment, SAC is requesting a declaration that when this product is available it will have a home in the CARICOM market and existing Treaty protections will apply.

This is a major new opportunity for the region to be able to utilize CARICOM sugar in CARICOM products. It will help ensure regional food security and a sustainable, healthy, valuable and viable CARICOM sugar industry for the future.

Additionally, SAC is requesting that member states fully enforce the existing CET rules on brown sugar and a proper monitoring mechanism to manage sugar supply and demand flows in the region.

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