KINGSTON, Jamaica – Over 300 employees at the Appleton Estates Sugar factory in the southern parish of St. Elizabeth, will be made redundant as J Wray & Nephew Limited ceases operating the entity.
In a statement on Wednesday, J. Wray & Nephew said its farm will be divested to a third-party entity with knowledge of sugar operations.
It also said a significant number of the 370 employees are expected to be reemployed.
The company added that while it will cease operating the sugar factory, the Appleton Estate Distillery and the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience will continue normal operations.
For more than a decade, J. Wray & Nephew has reported annual losses of US$12 million on its sugar production operations.
“This decision was not an easy one but was arrived at following several weeks of consultation with our stakeholders. Those union consultations follow years of exploration and significant capital investments aimed at improving the productivity and efficiency of the factory. We are in the process of working out the best outcome for the impacted workers and the wider community,” the statement said.
It said sugar results over the years have been dismal for the company and the Jamaican sugar industry.
“These sustained losses have forced the company to take this necessary course of action.”
The company further said the negative impact of the coronavirus has contributed to the decision to cease operating the sugar factory.