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Wednesday, 03 August 2011

ACP ministers urge EU to release sugar funds

At the 12th ACP Ministerial Conference on Sugar in Maputo, sugar exporting ACP countries urged the EU to immediately release sugar funds to assist farmers and industry stakeholders in adjustment and adaptation processes. The Prime minister of Fiji, Vorege Bainimarama, stressed that Fiji, like all other sugar exporting ACP countries, received much reduced earnings from its sugar exports to the EU, which were barely sufficient for meeting the on-going industry operating costs, let alone diverting resources to restructuring and rehabilitation programmes.

Under the ACP/EU sugar protocol, signed between the EU and sugar exporting ACP countries in 1975, sugar suppliers were guaranteed access to the EU market for fixed quantities of sugar at preferential prices. The protocol expired in 2009, meaning that sugar export to the EU is now governed by Economic Partnership Agreements that are negotiated or have already been concluded between the EU and ACP regions. As part of the EU’s development cooperation instrument (DCI), sugar exporting ACP countries receive a restructuration aid with an overall volume of €1.24 billion over the period from 2007-2013.

Source: CTA/Fiji Government