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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

EU: Sugar quota to remain until 2020

The sugar quotas will be maintained until 30 September 2020- this was voted in the European Parliament, as part of the global vote on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on 13 March.  
Thus, the current quota regime, which was due to end in 2015, will be extended for another five years.
Responding to the news the European Sugar Users association (CIUS) said MEPs had sent the "wrong message" to the industry, undermining the prospects for a balanced European sugar market and more competitive European food industry.
On the other side, the ACP Sugar Group welcomes the decision, by arguing that this will help to ensure fair and reasonably remunerative EU sugar market prices to ACP/LDC (least developed countries) exporters. This would correspond to the Economic Partnership Agreements and the Everything But Arms Initiative which underpin the trade and development objectives agreed between the EU and its partners. In the same time, this would allow industries to continue the modernization diversification and efficiency improvements in which ACP/LDC countries have already committed considerable funds from the EU’s Accompanying Measures financial support programme.


There is currently a total EU production quota of 13.3 million tonnes of sugar, which is divided between nineteen Member States. Since the reform of the sugar market regime, the EU has become a net importer of sugar. Imports are mainly in the form of cane sugar for refining, from the African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP) and Least Developed Countries (LDC) which benefit from quota-free, duty-free access to the EU market.
Alongside the wider Cotonou agreement, the sugar protocol has long incorporated preferential trade arrangements with the EU for certain ACP countries. However, over the years other measures have been put in place, replacing the sugar protocol arrangements. To support the adjustment process, the EU has decided to provide aid worth €1.25 billion (2006-13), on top of EDF aid (Accompanying Measures).

Source: just-food.com, ACP Group, European Commission