As the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) enters the beginning of the pre-crop meetings at Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt in preparation for the first crop under new management, the Corporation is only focusing on producing what can be sold for more cash.
This is according to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sasenarine Singh.
He said the aim is to expand the market for value-added packaged sugar both locally and internationally.
Apart from preserving 8200 jobs, GuySuCo is aiming at producing sugar at a lower price than the finished product will be sold for.
Grinding at the Albion, Uitvlugt and Blairmont Estates is expected to commence around February 20, and last for 12 weeks. The crop is expected to produce 42,609 metric tonnes.
He said that last year the Corporation surpassed its 77,000 metric tonnes by more than 11,000 metric tons as production ended at 88,868 metric tonnes. However, that was the revised target as weather patterns was blamed in November 2020 for GuySuCo missing its production target.
This year the Corporation is targetting 97,420 metric tonnes.
The CEO noted that those figures are realistic and are not based on figures from the first crop last year but based on the current facts.
“This year the target is more doable, it is more achievable and it is more pragmatic. Gone are the days where fuzzy maths creates some of these targets. We are going to generate our target based on the acne standing on the ground. If there is cane on the ground, we will build a target around it because that is how it becomes real,” the CEO said. He was at the time speaking with the media after a field visit of the Blairmount Estate on Monday.
He said the Corporation will make a turnaround and outlined some of the strategies being implemented to ensure that is realised.
“This turnaround is not a marathon. It will require careful deliberate and conscientious actions and work plan. We have the foundation which is the five-year strategic plan. At all levels, we have been training and retraining our staff to be cost-conscious and to be very focused on the market.”
He said efforts are being made to ensure that GuySuCo gets better prices for all of its products and by-products including molasses.
Singh said the Corporation has signed a one-year deal with Demerara Distillers Ltd (DDL) which offers a much higher price for molasses.
“GuySuCo was also able to secure a US$30 per metric tonnes increase on prices in our main international market – Trinidad. We have been able to expand the market in St Vincent and (there) are negotiations to restart sale to Grenada for the first time in years,” he added.
The vision of GuySuCo, the CEO told the media, is “to produce what we can sell at a stronger price and to push into making our primary market the package sugar market. To this end, we are about to expand the operations at the Enmore Packaging Plant and the Blairmont Packaging Plant.”
The CEO said a three-tier approach is being adopted to ensure the turnaround – increasing the stream of revenues by changing the sale mix into more packaged sugar and other value-added products rather than raw bulk sugar; reviewing the entire value chain to ensure that non-value-added costs are hunted and estimated and; to remain committed to carrying out the charge that was given by President Dr Irfaan Ali.
“We want to produce what we can sell for the most possible cash. We are not excited selling raw bulk sugar in the marker; it is an afterthought, if it happens it happens because we had no alternative. Our primary market going forward will remain packaged value-added sugar.”
He said the corporation is soon to launch its sixth brand of packaged sugar which is expected to be sold on both the local and international markets.
The corporation currently sells packaged “Demerara Gold”, “Enmore Crystals”, “Berbice Gold”, “Cuisine” and “Brown Sugar”.
“We are selling sugar in those packets between US$679 to US$790. At the bulk sugar level, we sell it for US$320.”
The CEO is encouraging and inviting persons who are desirous of becoming distributors both locally and abroad to get on board and help to sell the packaged sugar.