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Jamaica’s sugar export to Europe in jeopardy - Court injunction against Appleton could spell disaster

Published:Tuesday | January 26, 2016 | 12:00 AMMark Titus

Western Bureau:

Allan Rickards, chairman of the All Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association (AIJCFA), is warning that there must be an immediate resolution to the dispute which has led to an injunction obtained by Algix Jamaica (the operator of a St Elizabeth-based fish farm) against J Wray and Nephew (JWN), the operators of the Appleton Sugar Estate.

According to Rickards, one of the most respected stakeholders in the local sugar industry, even the slightest delay to the crop year at Appleton could mean disaster for the entire sugar industry, especially against the background that the estate is designated to handle some of the canes from the Trelawny-based Long Pond Estate, which is not processing any cane this season.

Algix has served a claim against JWN, alleging damage to its property, due to discharge of trade effluent from the sugar factory at the Appleton Estate in Siloah, St Elizabeth.

Algix sought the interim injunction against JWN to cease the discharge of trade effluent from the Appleton Estate sugar factory until the trial of the claim.

"If Appleton is delayed to start the crop to any extent, its disaster to the industry ... not only along the St Elizabeth sugar belt, but the entire island," Rickards told The Gleaner yesterday.

"Long Pond Estate (Everglades Farm) is not operating for this crop, so the cane that was there is to be shared between Worthy Park and Appleton."

"In fact, 65,000 to 70,000 tonnes were slated to go to Appleton. those suppliers are also in trouble," added Rickards.