Memorandum submitted by the Food and Drink
FDF welcomes the Commission's Consultation document
on the future of the EU Sugar Regime as a good basis for discussion.
The UK food and drink manufacturing industry believes that reform
of the Sugar Regime is inevitable but that it is in the UK's overall
economic interest to ensure the effective management of the reform.
Any plans must therefore take account, as far as possible, of
the legitimate interests of UK industry stakeholders.
Factors to bear in mind in formulating any plans
timing: a clear timeframe needs to
be established which gives sugar producers time to adjust but
which moves quickly enough to influence positively manufacturing,
investment and employment levels in the UK;
effects of implementation of the
"Everything But Arms" arrangements for LDCs (including
some sugar producing ACP countries) from 2006;
possible use of the Cotonou Agreement,
due for renewal in 2008, to adopt support measures to help ACP
countries adapt to a more market oriented global environment for
encouragement, particularly through
sufficient cuts in biofuel duty, of the production of biofuels,
and bioethanol in particular, as a non-food alternative for UK
agriculture, in line with the Government's Sustainable Food and
Farming Strategy; and
establishment of a system to allow
the transfer of member state quotas and an equitable supply entitlement
for the UK refiner during the change period, bearing in mind that
sugar production in the UK has greater viability than in most
other EU Member States.
29 March 2004