The United Sugar Producers Federation (Unifed) issued a clarification on Wednesday, countering the claim made by the Sugar Council that there would be sugar importation, reported Manila Times.
Unifed President Manuel Lamata responded to the Sugar Council’s recent statement, asserting that there is no sugar importation. He clarified that Unifed, along with the Asociacion de Agricultores de la Carlota y Pontevedra Inc. (AALCPI) and LuzonFed (Luzon Federation of Sugar Producers Inc.), the largest independent sugar planters group in the country, fully supports the government intervention discussed with Department of Agriculture Sec. Francisco Tiu Laurel and Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) Administrator Pablo Azcona.
The Sugar Council, comprising sugarcane producers federations Confed, NFSP, and Panayfed, expressed concerns over a proposal to address low Millgate prices by allowing traders to import more sugar. In response, Lamata stated that the three sugar federations declined to attend the SRA meeting last month in Bacolod and instead sent representatives without presenting any position on behalf of their federations.
AALCPI President Roberto Cuenca and LuzonFed’s Board, led by President Cornelio Toreja, expressed support for the proposed draft of a sugar order (SO) discussed during the SRA meeting. They requested that sugar produced before the SO’s effectivity be eligible for purchase and urged the SRA to allocate 20 to 30 percent of quedans issued before the program’s effectivity to benefit farmers. The proposed SO aims to purchase a limited volume of locally produced sugar for reclassification to reserve sugar, aiming to enhance and stabilize farmgate prices while ensuring reasonable retail prices.