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Sugar reform: a bitter taste for consumers

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Gepubliceerd op:  14 juli 2004


The Commission Communication on the reform of the EU Sugar regime released today does not go nearly far enough.

The proposed reductions in intervention price and annual quotas are too small. They may reduce slightly, but will not end, the scandal at the core of the sugar regime, which is the dumping on the world market of large quantities of EU sugar at less than the cost of production. 

The main beneficiaries of the sugar will continue to be large sugar processing companies.

The proposals will not give developing countries better access to the EU market. (The “privilege” that some developing countries have is only to supply raw materials to industry in Europe.)

Although the EU regime is being challenged at WTO level, this modest reform is also in flagrant contradiction of the Doha Development Agenda. The EU will continue defending the indefensible at WTO level.

“Despite wider concerns about ethical consumption and corporate social responsibility, the sugar regime forces EU consumers and taxpayers to pay for policies that directly damage farmers in the developing world”, said Jim Murray, Director of BEUC. “While acknowledging the need for transitional measures, especially for certain ACP countries, the current sugar regime should be ended as a matter of urgency”. 

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