The Jamaica government says it has no intention of forcing upon manufacturers the use of plantation white sugar as a substitute for refined sugar in the manufacturing process.“It’s not the government’s intention to impose any strictures in promoting what, at this stage, is just a theory. It is going to depend largely on what you the manufacturers say. This is not something that Government wants to force on you. Nothing of the kind,” said Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Karl Samuda.Samuda said no decision will be taken without agreement from members of the manufacturing sector.Regional consultationsA statement from the Ministry noted that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) has asked the Sugar Association of the Caribbean to conduct regional consultations with manufacturers who use refined sugar in their manufacturing processes.Currently, imported refined sugar is used in the manufacturing trade to make items such as sugary drinks and baked goods.The statement noted while it is possible to use the less refined, regionally made plantation white sugar for this purpose, it will cost manufacturers more to do so.Addressing a stakeholder’s meeting earlier this week, Samuda noted that the move to replace refined sugar with plantation white could prove beneficial to the region in the long term. But he assured that the government will work to find a solution that will mutually benefit the local sugar industry and manufacturers.