Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Karl Samuda told a news conference that standards for labelling and packaging of all sugar in the retail market will be in place by the end of December.
He said procedures were approved whereby no sugar should be sold anywhere in Jamaica to consumers unless it is sold in approved packages, which are labelled with all the ingredients on them.
He said that the standards should have already been in practice “and I lament the fact and am disappointed that it has been delayed for so long.
“I told the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and the entire team that I want that standard in place by the end of December. I am determined to go to the root of the problem where the allegation is that manufacturers are importing sugar as raw material and passing it to the consumer through supermarkets, thereby avoiding the appropriate tax that should be paid on it,” Samuda said.
He noted that once the standards are in place by the end of the month, it will serve as a deterrent for those engaging in this practice.
“This issue about the moisture content that has been somewhat of a bug bear… it is my information that this issue is behind us. There is now no reason why we cannot complete this provision, because the manufacturer of sugar and the BSJ have agreed that a 0.5 per cent moisture content is acceptable,” Samuda said.
“Once we arrive at that position, then it should be so labelled on the bag to give us the satisfaction that we are in compliance,” he said, adding that the integrity of the sugar sold in Jamaica is very good, as the country produces the finest sugar anywhere in the world.
“We will continue to strive to get to a moisture content of 0.3 to 0.2 per cent so that the integrity of the sugar can be enhanced even more,” he added.
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