Belize Tasked to Find Alternative Industry to Replace Sugar

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Updated: March 21, 2017

Jamaica, Belize and Mauritius were among a group of more than 10 nations that benefited from quota- and duty-free access for one point six million metric tons of mostly raw-sugar shipments to the European Union in 2015-16. The amount, which can vary year-by-year, represented about half the European bloc’s imports of the commodity.”  This statement comes out of a Bloomberg article dated March 15, 2017 where it spoke of the EU’s decision to remove limits on its own beet-sugar output.  With that decision in place, Belize and other exporting nations could face a serious hit on its sugar industry as the demand for the commodity will more than likely decrease.  According to Trade and Investment adviser, David Jessop, the market for sugar in the European Union in about ten years may be nothing but a part of history.  He added that the challenge from the Caribbean perspective is for them to see what can be done to ensure the future of the industry.  Bloomberg went on to note that it is not that the doors for sugar will be closed to the external producers but the challenge will be the competition when compared to the EU farmers who are now boosting their output and increasing scale.  It is expected that the EU’s farmers will expand their production by as much as seventeen percent translating to more than twenty million tons; taking its imports down by as much as fifty percent.  Fiji, Mauritius, Belize and Guyana have been shipping about 80 percent or so of their sugar exports to the EU, and Jamaica at least 60 percent, according to a 218-page report from LMC International Limited, funded by the trading bloc.  Gerald Mason of Tate and Lyle Sugars was quoted as saying, “It’s not that we want to leave those suppliers behind, but if Europe has made the white sugar market really competitive, we have to have access to more competitive supplies.”EU trade cooperation with the African, Caribbean and Pacific sugar nations dates to the birth of the European Economic Community in 1957. Some producers in other nations have already cut reliance on the industry, with sugar making up a small part of their economies; Mauritius has boosted its textile and tourism businesses.