One year following the end of the quota regime, with world and EU sugar prices having reached historically low levels this summer, well below the reference threshold and the cost of production in the EU, the beet sugar sector in the EU continues to experience severe turbulences.
Representing European sugar manufacturers, sugar beet growers, and employees respectively, CEFS, CIBE, and EFFAT are watching with concern the ongoing EU-Mercosur trade negotiations. A joint letter was sent today to President Juncker, Commissioners Malmström and Hogan and responsible officials in DGs AGRI and TRADE.
The EU Biofuel Chain has sent a joint letter today to Council ahead of the next negotiating round on the post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive (REDII).
The International Confederation of European Beet Growers (CIBE), representing over 280 000 sugar beet growers from 18 Western & Central European Countries and 15% of world sugar production, held its 45th Congress in Ghent (Belgium) from 16th to 18th May 2018. It examined the situation of the world sugar economy and the main economic and political issues currently facing beet growing in Europe, with a special focus on the impacts of the abolition of the EU quota system as from 1st October 2017. CIBE released the following resolutions adopted by its Board of Directors.
A joint letter, signed by CIBE, COPA-COGECA, European Oilseed Alliance, CIBE, ePure and CEPM Maiz' Europ', has been sent to COREPER I, MEPs in charge of the RED II trilogue negotiations and DG ENERGY.
At 372 EUR/tonne in February 2018, the EU average white sugar price is currently at its lowest level since the establishment of the European Commission Price Reporting System in July 2006, and down by more than 25 per cent since August 2017. It is almost ten per cent below the white sugar reference threshold, the only objective benchmark that exists to monitor the health of the sector. And it is far below EU average production costs.
The vote today at the SCoPAFF to ban neonicotinoids, including in pelleted beet seed, is a severe blow for sugar beet growers and for the sustainability of the EU beet sugar sector. It is not a science-based decision as far as sugar beet is concerned. It is highly regrettable that a majority of Member States have ignored the data gaps in the EFSA assessment and the recent evidence put forward. As a result, both the environment and the farming community will be negatively affected.
With its proposal to ban neonicotinoids, including in pelleted beet seed, DG-SANTE, followed by some Member States, deliberately ignore data gaps in the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) impact assessments as well as recent evidence with regards to sugar beet. European Beet growers repeatedly presented their case based on sound analysis and facts.
CEFS, CIBE and EFFAT understand that in the context of the ongoing trade negotiations the European Commission has offered the Mercosur countries an annual tariff-rate quota of 100,000 tonnes of sugar at 98 EUR/tonne duty. This is a substantial quantity that is higher than the annual output of some factories.