In many ACP countries, sugar is a crucial component of economic activity, and a significant provider of employment, social services and foreign exchange .
The ACP Group welcomes the call of the International Confederation of European Beet Growers (CIBE) in its press release of 19 September, for the European Union to address imbalances in the sugar market. CIBE notably requests that the EU “put pressure on countries dumping subsidised sugar on the world market.”
With the support of the Accompanying Measures Support Programme funded by the EU, ACP sugar suppliers to the EU under the Economic Partnership Agreement and Everything but Arms Initiative were expecting a period of stability with remunerative returns for their exports. Regrettably, this has not been the case, and markets have in fact deteriorated following the abolition of EU sugar production quotas in 2017.
Most, if not all, ACP sugar supplying countries have suffered, and continue to suffer, as EU and world market prices have fallen to historically low levels. This threatens serious negative long term socio-economic and development consequences for the countries concerned and will negate years of progress.
The ACP Sugar Group calls on the EU as their key political, economic and development partner, to take immediate measures to bring about stability and to remove market distortions in the sugar sector.