A review of the sugar industry birthed at the May 2014 Caricom Sugar Stakeholders would be before regional ministers who are in Suriname for a meeting to be on Friday for the Council for Trade and Economic Development meeting as part of Caribbean Week of Agriculture. The review examined the importance of the one of the oldest industries in the region, the state of both the EU and US markers among other issues.
Desiree Field Ridley, Officer in Charge of Trade and Economics, Caricom who was at that meeting, when asked if sugar is still viable said it should not only be seen as raw material
“It is all the other things you can do with it from sugar cane, it is viable for some still and the markets are there, the U.S. markets are still there but in a limited way, but we are not going to lose sugar totally from this region” she said
Field-Ridley feels that sugar is an integral part of many areas in the region “employment, culture, even in terms of systems in the rural areas, so you are not gonna lose sugar, one and two countries have …but in those countries is not as big as it is in others, so I don’t think you are going to lose it totally, you have to review how you do it, how you focus”
Sugar, and its viability, has been on the agenda of regional governments for many years, as very few countries still produce sugar with large numbers of person still depending on it for a living, many experts are contending that their continued dependence on it for a livelihood is linked to diversification of the industry.