Guyana wants Caricom’s help in freeing up honey trade, one year after T&T fines La Parkan

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 October 2016, 18:06 by Denis Chabrol

Guyana is hoping that the Caribbean Community (Caricom) can unblock Trinidad and Tobago as the route through which honey exports must be transshipped  to regional and extra-regional markets, following a US$3,000 fine that La Parkan had to pay for violating the laws of that twin-island nation.

Trinidad and Tobago laws prohibit the transportation of honey within one mile of that twin-island nation.

Demerara Waves Online News was told that the issue is down for discussion by Caricom Agriculture Ministers when they meet in the Cayman Islands on October 27, 2016.

The Caribbean Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA) has been asked to set up a special group that would hopefully resolve the issue by year-end. The technical experts are expected to be drawn from Guyana, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Caricom, CAHFSA and the Inter-American Institute in Cooperation for Agriculture (IICA).

Sources said Guyana is leading the charge to have the issue resolved because that country is losing vital foreign exchange because its honey exports must pass through Trinidad.

Back in February, 2015, Trinidad and Tobago customs seized a quantity of honey and fined La Parkan US$3,000 because it facilitated that shipment, resulting in companies being unwilling to discuss the movement of honey that may have to pass through that company, sources said.

The seizure had followed a request by Trinidad and Tobago for Guyana to notify it in advance of its intention to transship goods so that all the legal requirements can be fulfilled in a timely manner.

The agricultural Council for Trade and Economic Development is being held one day after the Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) officially ended in the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands, an Associate Caricom member territory.

The CWA is organized by several organisations under the umbrella of the Alliance for the Sustainable Development of Agriculture and the Rural Milieu. They are the Caribbean AgriBusiness Association (CABA), Council of Higher Education in Agriculture (CACHE), Caribbean Forum for Youth in Agriculture (CFYA), Caribbean Network of Rural Women Producers (CANRWP), Caribbean Farmers Network  (CAFAN), Caricom Secretariat, Caribbean Research and Development Institute (CARDI), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Victor Villalobos and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).