‘Right into the dump’

Gov’t to force re­tail­ers caught with duty-free su­gar to dis­pose of prod­uct

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

MAN­U­FAC­TUR­ERS WHO are guilty of pass­ing off duty-free im­ported su­gar to re­tail­ers, un­der­cut­ting lo­cal pro­duc­ers, will now have to fork out mil­lions as penalty, and re­tail­ers caught par­tic­i­pat­ing in the prac­tice are go­ing have to dump the su­gar.

So said Karl Sa­muda, the min­is­ter of in­dus­try, com­merce, agri­cul­ture and fish­eries, as he ad­dressed cane farm­ers in Kingston on Tues­day.

The pol­icy is in re­sponse to com­plaints from play­ers in the do­mes­tic in­dus­try that man­u­fac­tur­ers who use re­fined su­gar as raw ma­te­rial and get duty con­ces­sions are sell­ing it in the re­tail trade at enor­mous prof­its, marginal­is­ing lo­cal play­ers.

The dras­tic mea­sures, Sa­muda said, have been im­ple­mented by his min­istry in con­junc­tion with the Bureau of Stan­dards Ja­maica.

“We put in reg­u­la­tions through Bureau of Stan­dards, that any­thing su­per­mar­kets sell with su­gar in it and pack­age it, if it does not have the stamp of the Bureau of Stan­dards, it is go­ing to go right into the dump.”

NEW CLAS­SI­FI­CA­TION

The min­is­ter said that com­ing out of a meet­ing of agri­cul­ture min­is­ters across the Caribbean, held in Guyana re­cently, new clas­si­fi­ca­tion for im­ported su­gar will be im­ple­mented to fur­ther pro­tect do­mes­tic pro­duc­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Sa­muda, be­cause of the dif­fi­culty at cus­toms to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween plan­ta­tion white and re­fined su­gar, a new stan­dard has been es­tab­lished for plan­ta­tion white to be clas­si­fied as ‘other’ while gran­u­lated or re­fined su­gar will hold its name for clas­si­fi­ca­tion pur­poses.

“The idea of slip­ping through the raw ma­te­rial and the fin­ished prod­uct, those days are over,” he said.

He charged that it was his re­spon­si­bil­ity to se­cure and main­tain a level play­ing field for all in­ter­ests and he would not al­low those with ul­te­rior mo­tives to de­stroy the lo­cal su­gar in­dus­try.

“We must make sure that those who take the risk to pro­duce the su­gar and go out into the world to mar­ket the prod­ucts are not un­der­mined by peo­ple who want to get rich quick,” Sa­muda said.

SA­MUDA

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