The ACP response to the Commission staff working paper
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 2003. The ACP response to the Commission staff working paper. Agritrade, November 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52790
ACP sugar exporters expressed 'great regret' on October 1st 2003 ...
ACP sugar exporters expressed 'great regret' on October 1st 2003 at the Commission's presentation of the staff working paper on sugar-sector reform, since it neglected to refer to the 'fixed quota' option for sugar-sector reform most favoured by ACP sugar exporters. The press statement points out that this option would guarantee stable and remunerative earnings for ACP exporters and ensure remunerative processing opportunities for LDC exporters benefiting from the EBA. It expressed concern over the liberalisation option which it was felt would benefit only a few larger developing countries. The statement pointed out that since the European Commission has already narrowed down the options to those likely to have the most negative effects on ACP sugar exporters it should 'put in place the necessary instruments and mechanisms for ACP states that are similar in nature to those which it proposes for EU beet growers' so as to 'ensure that the ACP states concerned continue to derive adequate levels of earnings on a predictable and stable basis. It conclusion it stated that the ACP 'would welcome the opportunity to participate fully in the political debate which is now being launched on the future of the EU Sugar Regime'. Comment: The ACP sugar exporters have effectively aligned themselves with EU sugar processors who also favour the 'fixed quota' option. However the Commission appears to have set itself against this option, in part because it would involve going back on international commitments made to least developed countries, but more fundamentally since it would prevent restructuring and efficiency gains within the EU sugar sector. The EU sugar-sector quota system has encouraged an expansion of EU sugar production in the least efficient areas for sugar production, with these areas having production costs almost 150% higher than those of the most efficient sugar-producing areas of the EU. The fixed-quota system would therefore prevent any significant improvement in the average efficiency of EU sugar production, which a more liberalised internal system (involving quota transfers) would allow.