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Tate & Lyle restructure sugar deal with Jamaica

Published:Thursday | May 26, 2016 | 12:00 AMMark Titus

Western Bureau:

The United Kingdom-based sugar refiner Tate & Lyle is to allow a portion of the sugar in the 2015-2016 supply deal it has with Jamaica Cane Product Sales (JCPS) to be delivered in 2016-2017 as a way to help cushion some of the problems being faced by local sugar interests.

As a consequence, the original target, which was set at 130,000 tonnes, has now been tentatively reset to 90,000 tonnes.

"The first shipment of 24,000 tonnes went off last month, and it's hardly likely that we are going to be able to fulfil our projections for this crop year, but we are in constant dialogue with Tate & Lyle about that," said Karl James, general manager of JCPS, which is the local marketing firm.

"Tate & Lyle is prepared for us to deliver the remaining portion next year, but we intend to try to send as much as we can, and we continue our discussions with them," added James. "Our projection has been drastically reduced. We are looking to produce about 90,000 tonnes."


Issues delay delivery


At the end of the 2014-2015 season, JCPS and Tate and Lyle penned a one-year supply arrangement for 48,000 tonnes of sugar with the option for an additional 16,000 tonnes for the current crop year, but the European firm has had to give additional time for the delivery of the first shipment because of the myriad issues plaguing the local sugar sector.

Among the more pronounced issues were the absence of Long Pond and Monymusk estates from the 2015-16 season and the court injunction by Algix Jamaica, which forced Appleton Estate to shut down its operations.

"The good news is that the Government has intervened in the Long Pond issue, so at least the canes of the farmers can be reaped to produce some more sugar," said James.

There was somewhat of a reprieve for cane farmers in the Long Pond belt when the Government took over the operation of the factory from its private owners, Everglades Farm Limited, to run a three-month crop.