Ministry: No shortage of brown sugar

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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THE Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries yesterday dismissed reports that there is a shortage of sugar in the retail trade.

“The ministry and other stakeholders in the industry wish to reassure the population that there is no shortage of sugar in the island, nor have there been any widespread complaints from consumers regarding an unavailability of sugar,” a ministry statement said yesterday.

In the wake of a media report and complaints from a retailer regarding the unavailability of packaged sugar, particularly in 500-gram and 2.2-kg packs, agencies of the ministry last week increased their monitoring and surveillance activities to address the concern.

The ministry said both the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority and the Consumer Affairs Commission were able to confirm the availability of packaged sugar islandwide, but took note, also, of a shortfall in the 500-gram (approximately 1lb) packages in some areas. According to Ministry: “Jamaica Cane Products Sales (JCPS) Ltd — the island's largest marketer of sugar — has indicated that the shortfall in the 500-gram packages resulted from a sharp increase in demand for that size recently.” It said that at an emergency stakeholder meeting held last Friday, the JCPS and its packaging agency, Caribbean Depot Ltd, outlined solutions now under way to meet the increased demand for the 500 gram packages.

“These measures include the immediate delivery of packaging material into the island as well as plans to increase the 500- gram production line with the recruitment of additional workers.”

It is expected that the shortfall in the 500-gram packages will be addressed within two weeks.

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