Sugar Dispute Headed to Mediation
The ongoing dispute between the Sugar Company of Jamaica and Everglades Limited is now headed to mediation. According to the terms of the agreement, the minister of agriculture will no longer get a chance to broker an agreement, despite the 30 day window that should have allowed this attempt to occur. If mediation is unsuccessful, the dispute would be sent to a single arbitrator, but both sides are hopeful mediation will work.
The dispute arose because the Sugar Company of Jamaica demanded payment for more than $1 million from Everglades, the company that is the owner of Long Pond and Hampden sugar estates, located in Trelawny. The Sugar Company believes this to be the correct amount that is outstanding for the land leaded from the divestment deal in 2009.
According to Everglades, who made a counterclaim against the Sugar Company for $4 million, the company accumulated this debt while operating the Clark’s Town-based factor when the Sugar Company closed for the 2016 year.
Additionally, there is a dispute over the security costs from after October 2012, as well a housing costs, the cost of modifying a grease trap, and the cost for technical consulting from Outram Hussey for environmental issues.
There is no date set yet for mediation, but a source close to the situation confirmed to The Sunday Gleaner that mediation is definitely the next step and discussions will begin as early as possible.
If mediation fails, there is a chance Everglades will be forced to give the land it is leasing back to the Sugar Company of Jamaica.