An article in Forbes Magazine analyzes whether Caribbean sugar can make a comeback as a result of opportunities available in the region?
In the article, the writer laments that Caribbean countries have had to compete with Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, to export plantation white sugar into the Caribbean market. Still, what is import by the region is but a drop in the market. In 2018, Jamaica accounted for more than 20% of the region’s sugar or $16.4m. Barbados produced $6.2m in sugar exports, $4.2m for Guyana and a measly $138,000 from Belize.
The Sugar Association of the Caribbean has indicated that the figures should not be, since the region has enough sugar to satisfy the regional demand. SAC has been lobbying for the introduction of protective measures in the form of 40% Common External Tariffs.
Those manufacturers who have imported sugar from outside the region’s supply claim allege that the plantation white sugar produced by farmers in northern Belize is inadequate, but in a study by the Caribbean Development Bank, it was determined that the plantation white sugar produced is adequate for manufacturers.
The other positive news is that sugar production also results in energy production. In Belize, the BSI/ASR provides 17% of the energy to the country through the co-generation project.