1 May 2007

Further appeal to European Union over guarantees for sugar by ACP countries

3:17 pm on 1 May 2007

There is to be a further appeal to the European Union calling for guarantees for the sugar industry by the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, the ACP.

The EU is reducing the prices it pays for sugar from ACP countries and will end its preferential prices in 2009 following a ruling from the World Trade Organisation to do so.

In its place, the EU is planning financial assistance packages for ACP countries.

But, speaking from Fiji, the ACP spokesperson, Dr Arvin Boolell, says they need to ensure those packages contain key elements of the sugar protocol that currently exists.

"We have to make sure that the sanctity of the sugar protocol, ie, in respect of the guaranteed price and the guaranteed quota, that these essential features are maintained."

Dr Boolell, who is also the Mauritian Minister of Agriculture, says he doesn't want to see the financial assistance for sugar swallowed up in the new Economic Partnership Agreements coming into place next year between the EU and the ACP countries.