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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

ACP hails EP vote extending EU sugar quotas

The ACP Group is satisfied with the vote in the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development on 23 January 2013 last week, which supports the extension of the current sugar quota provisions until 30 September 2020.  According to ACP, the extension of sugar quotas will help to ensure fair, stable and reasonable remunerative EU sugar market prices to ACP and LDC exporters under the current economic agreements (Economic Partnership Agreements, respectively the Everything But Arms Initiative for LDCs).
Several ACP/LDC suppliers wish to continue to export raw cane sugar for refining. The ACP is therefore also calling for conditions which can support a viable EU sugar refining industry to provide a dedicated entry to the EU market and to maintain a plurality of potential buyers for EPA/EBA sugar. Thus, the ACP does not favor the reinstatement of beet quotas and is opposed to any allowance of duty free imports from other third parties, as measure to protect ACP and LDCs preferential status.
The coherence between various EU policies- as  trade, development and agriculture- is a core condition of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement and  the EPA’s between the ACP and the EU and is it from this perspective that the ACP group sees as is crucial the need that EU institutions work to sustain the beet sugar quota arrangements for sugar until 2020.
The Committee backed the extension of protections for sugar producers and grape growers, defying Commission proposals to remove market support and eventually liberalise all agricultural markets. The quota system, dating to 1968, provides farmers a guaranteed minimum price aimed at ensuring stable supplies.


Source: ACP