Sugar Cane Refiners regret adoption of imbalanced measures for sugar sector
Brussels, 24 January 2013 - The European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture voted yesterday on a text to reform the Single CMO that does not provide fair terms of competition between all the sweeteners producers.
The European Sugar Refineries Association, ESRA, regrets that despite the best efforts of many MEPs the text adopted by the Agricultural Committee fails to address the current imbalances in sugar market in order to achieve a sustainable and competitive sugar market in the EU.
ESRA welcomes that the Parliament text takes into account the sugar refining sector in contrast to the Commission proposal where the sector was largely ignored. Nevertheless, ESRA is deeply concerned by the following:
- Along with the extension of quotas for beet sugar processors beyond 2015, no parallel mechanism is provided to ensure the raw material supply for cane refiners. Raw cane sugar can only be imported from preferential origins (EPA, EBA and free trade agreements); if all these origins combined cannot supply sufficient raw sugar, there is no alternative mechanism to ensure the defined volume raw sugar imports will actually come. The priority access of 3 months to import this raw sugar does not guarantee any supply volume for full-time refiners, nor can it be considered a parallel mechanism to quotas for sugar beet processors.
- Moreover, the various provisions allowing for an increase of beet quotas (out-of-quota conversion and the reallocation to Member States that stopped their beet production) go against the 2006 sugar reform and are clearly detrimental to the full time cane refiners as a stakeholder in the sugar market.
After the adoption of the text, Mr Pereira, ESRA President, said: “As they currently stand, these measures will irreparably damage Europe´s cane sugar refining industry and seriously undermine the sugar market stability in
Without parallel treatment by legislation, Europe’s cane refiners will face increasing unfairness with regards to access to raw material. This will leave no room for refiners to continue their role; as a consequence this will harm competition and therefore encourage even more concentration of the sugar industry. This will result in reduced choice and higher prices for the food and drink industry and ultimately European consumers.
ESRA calls upon the European Parliament plenary to shape a sugar market that gives parallel opportunities to all. We also look forward to working with Member States in Council to find a more balanced solution for the sugar market in the EU. Refiners, users, and consumers deserve it.