A report issued earlier this week in the Jamaican Newspaper “The Gleaner” indicates that the Belize Ambassador to the European Union, Dylan Vernon, is predicting that sugar exports from the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries into Europe will be decreased “significantly” as a result of the change in the regime that manages the EU sugar market.
As viewers may be aware the EU regime changed from October 1st, this year with the removal of domestic quotas. According to the report, Vernon, who is also the chairman of the ACP Sugar Subcommittee told the just concluded 20th Meeting of the ACP Ministerial Trade Committee that a recent study on the impact of the EU sugar reform on ACP suppliers noted that, while the final outcome of the reform is uncertain, sugar production in the EU is expected to increase. Adding that the European Commission’s own Medium Term Outlook foresaw that the lifting of the EU sugar production quotas as from October 2017 would lead to preferential suppliers to the EU experiencing lower selling prices for lower quantities of sugar as EU sugar prices are expected to become more closely aligned with world market prices.
Vernon also underlined a crucial point made in the Cardno Study on Accompanying Measures for former Sugar Protocol countries (AMSP) noting that the AMSP has undoubtedly helped ACP sugar producers to adjust to the new market environment but their contribution has been varied and many ACP countries were not able to achieve all the goals set out in their National Adaptation Strategies.
The reports further states that the ACP Group has said it was therefore calling on the European Union to propose and adopt more coherent and development-friendly policies, both as regards to EU domestic agricultural policy, as well as EU trade policy.