Select Committee on International Development Written Evidence


Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from the LDC London Sugar Group

  I have been asked by the Chairman of the LDC London Sugar Group to write to you on behalf of our group which represents the sugar industries of the of Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Of the 50 LDCs, 38 are ACP countries signatory to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, and 19 LDC-ACP countries produce sugar. At the 4th Summit of ACP Heads of States and Governments held in Maputo on 21-24 June 2004, it was decided to engage in joint ACP and LDC ministerial consultations on sugar, recognizing the cross-membership and mutuality of interests between the ACP and LDC sugar producing states.

  We understand the International Development Committee will be taking evidence on Monday 7 February 2005, as part of its inquiry into the EU's Trade Agreements with ACP countries, from the Rt Hon Peter Mandelson, Commissioner for Trade, European Commission.

  In preparation for your meeting with Commissioner Mandelson, we would like to bring to your attention and that of all Members of the IDC the statements made on ACP and LDC sugar trade by the LDC minsterial spokesman and representative to the 2635th European Council of Agriculture Ministers in Brussels on 24 January 2005 (Annex 1 and Annex 2). These statements were made to Commissioner Mandelson and also, inter alia, to the Rt Hon Margaret Beckett, MP, Minister for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. I have pleasure in attaching these statements.

  You may wish to know that Commissioner Mandelson visited sugar estates in Guyana in December 2004, and also that in January 2005, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, visited the Maragra sugar estate in Mozambique. Whilst sugar is fresh in Mr Mandelson's mind, we wonder if perhaps you may wish to ask him on Monday about the huge importance of ACP and LDC sugar trade with the European Union to the tens even hundreds of thousands of people who depend on each sugar mill in ACP and LDC countries?

  In case you should have any questions regarding the work of our Group and wider lobby, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Julian Price, Secretary

February 2005



 
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