Monymusk to remain open, says Samuda

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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MINISTER of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda announced yesterday that the Monymusk Sugar Factory in Clarendon will remain open for the 2017/2018 sugar crop.

Samuda, speaking at a press conference at the ministry's St Lucia Avenue offices in New Kingston, said the decision was taken following discussions with the Chinese-owned Pan Caribbean Sugar Company.

Under the agreement, Pan Caribbean will operate the factory, but will return 25,000 acres of leased lands located at Monymusk and Bernard Lodge to the Government. These lands will be leased to cane farmers to ensure a steady supply of cane to the factory.

Minister Samuda also said Pan Caribbean will be allowed to import and distribute refined sugar in addition to the company's brown sugar quota.

New regime for importation

Samuda also announced changes to the regime for the importation of refined sugar for the retail trade, in an effort to stop the leakage of refined sugar imported by manufacturers duty-free as a raw material for manufactured products from entering the retail trade.

According to the minister, the granting of permits to import refined sugar for the retail trade will be restricted to approved marketing agents or other entities as designated by the minister.

Samuda also noted that all sugar sold in the retail trade must be packaged in keeping with the recently enacted standards.

“Any entity found selling refined sugar in the retail trade which is not packaged in accordance with these standards will be found in breach and enforcement measures will be applied under the SIA (Sugar Industry Authority) Control Act,” said Minister Samuda.

Penalties include the seizure of goods and fines of up to $3 million.

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