Working towards a sustainable and competitive sugars sector in Europe

Position of the European Starch Industry Association (AAF) on the reform of the sugar sector in the framework of the European Commission’s Proposal for a Regulation on Common Market Organisations (Single CMO).[spacer size="20"]

AAF, the European Starch Industry Association, strongly supports the abolition of production quotas for sugar and isoglucose by October 2015:

AAF calls on the European Parliament and the Member States to enable the realisation of a sustainable and competitive sugars sector in Europe and to support the Commission’s proposal. 

As part of a wide array of products, the European starch industry produces isoglucose (cereal-based sugar) used in various food and drink applications. The current system of production quotas artificially limits the production of sugar and isoglucose, thus severely restricting competition in this sector and preventing these industries from growing.

AAF strongly believes that the abolition of the sugar and isoglucose production quotas by 2015 is an essential step to create a sustainable and competitive sugars sector in Europe with multiple benefits for all economic actors and consumers alike:

  • EU sugar industries will benefit from the world growth in sugar consumption of 3 to 4.5 million tons/year (between 22% and 34% of the current EU sugar quota!). With the lifting of WTO restriction on EU sugar exports, they will export freely to the world market, as they request themselves, and benefit from attractive prices. As Brazil is not able to satisfy this growing demand, also in view of ethanol developments, EU production can expand significantly.
  • In a quota-free environment, European farmers who generally grow both cereals and sugar beets in parallel, will benefit from an increased demand for both crops.
  • Users and consumers of sugars will benefit from a wider choice of sugars and from an increased security of supply.
  • The development of both the sugar and the starch industries will benefit employment and investment in the EU.
  • Third countries will also find a place in this growing market. The maintenance of import duties allows the EU to give preferential access to those countries/regions it has made commitments to (e.g. EPAs, EBAs).

AAF calls on you to support the Commission’s proposal in order to:

  • Allow both the sugar and the starch industries to develop and to benefit from a fundamentally-changed supply and demand dynamic in the world sugars market. The EU industries should be able to take part in this growth as soon as possible!
  • Ensure fair competition for all economic actors in the sugars sector and allow isoglucose producers to compete on an equal-footing with the sugar producers.
  • Support the development of the bio-based economy: the starch industry is a highly-innovative industry active in the bio-based economy. A more competitive starch sector will trigger sustainable investments in R&D for more innovation in the bio-based economy.

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January 1, 2012