Stakeholders in the beverage sector have established a task team to look into the challenges facing the local sugar industry. Source: IOL
JOHANNESBURG - Stakeholders in the beverage sector have established a task team to look into the challenges facing the local sugar industry, including increased imports, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) said yesterday. 

Sugar production adds about R14billion to GDP and the industry employs 85000 people directly, and a further 350000 indirectly through food processing and other sectors.

However, it is threatened by the sustained increase of deep sea sugar imports, peaking at around 500000 tons in 2017/18 and displacing locally produced sugar into the depressed global market, said South African Sugar Association (Sasa) chairperson Suresh Naidoo. 

A task team of representatives from the beverage industry, retailers, Sasa officials, farmers, manufacturers and officials from the Industrial Development Corporation was formed on Monday with the dti. 

- African News Agency (ANA)