Fiji calls for stability in the EU sugar market
May 30, 2018 1:31 am
The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States sugar suppliers need to ensure that their trading relationship with the European Union post-Brexit is not worse off.
This was highlighted by Fiji’s Head of Mission to the European Union, Ambassador Deo Saran during the ACP Ministerial Consultations on Commodities held during the ACP Council of Ministers Meeting in Lomé, Togo in West Africa.
Ambassador Saran, says the United Kingdom was the largest market for the ACP sugar and Brexit offered a real opportunity to negotiate a meaningful preferential market for sugar.
Meanwhile, he says with the recent sharp decline in EU sugar prices can displace Fiji as a supplier from their traditional market in the EU.
Ambassador Saran says it was a deeply worrying development not only for Fiji but for other ACP sugar suppliers as well.
He adds the increased prices could also force suppliers to find new and less remunerative markets.
The Ambassador also highlighted the importance of the sugar industry to vulnerable and Small Island Developing States, like Fiji.
In this context, he submitted that it was vital for these suppliers to obtain a stable and commercially remunerative price with a sufficiently long-term perspective.
Ambassador Saran said the current EU market situation can be attributed to the abolishment of the EU sugar production quotas on 30th September 2017.
He adds Fiji, therefore, fully supports the call by the ACP for the EU to abolish Voluntary Coupled Support subsidy program in the sugar sector and refrain from instituting other trade-distorting measures.