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Poor sugar-consuming public

first_imgDear Editor,Reference is drawn to the article captioned “Local sugar price increases” that was carried in Guyana Times on February 13, 2018, wherein GuySuCo’s acting CEO, Paul Bhim, confirmed that the price of sugar on the local market has been increased since early February. The CEO further stated that the price “has not been increased for about eight or nine years. So, we had just finished reviewing the prices on the local market and we thought it was opportune time to increase”.Editor, the CEO needs to advise the consuming public on who is “we” that reviewed the price and determined the increase, and secondly why now is considered the “opportune time to increase” the price of sugar; a time when almost 7000 sugar workers are out of a job, struggling to make ends meet.There must have been valid reason why for the past eight or nine years that either the Government, its Board or corporate management decided against increasing the price of sugar. The CEO opined that “the increase has been active for about three weeks already and we haven’t had a single complaint about it. I haven’t seen anything or anyone coming to GuySuCo”.It was only earlier this week, in a Guyana Times article, that a housewife at Canje, Rose Hall lamented that with her husband being out of a job through the closure of the Rose Hall Estate, they could only afford one meal and the other being “sugar water” per day. Sugar, therefore, become a luxury consumable product for this family. For sure, I don’t think this family could afford to travel to the CEO’s office to complain about the increase in the price of sugar.The CEO, in the said article, makes it appear that the increase is insignificant, which is rather misleading. Let’s look at what the increase means to the sugar company’s revenue. GuySuCo sells approximately 28,000 metric tonnes of sugar to the local market, which is equivalent to 560,000 (50)kg bags. The CEO said the price has been increased from $4900 to $5145 per 50kg bag; an increase of $245. It means therefore, that GuySuCo will rake in $137 million in additional revenue from an increase in price that the CEO described as insignificant.This increased revenue is not from any strategic marketing initiative, but from the backs of the consuming public.If the company really wants to look at conserving on cost, it needs to critically look at its high overhead expenses, including its head-office costs, and not extracting its revenue from the poor sugar-consuming public.Yours faithfully,Selwyn Narinedattlast_img read more

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