The recent sharp decline in EU sugar prices was a deeply worrying development for Fiji and many other ACP sugar suppliers.
This was the message by Fiji’s Head of Mission to the European Union, Ambassador Deo Saran, while addressing the ACP Ministerial Consultations on Commodities held during ACP Council of Ministers.
This meeting highlighted the importance of 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, necessary for continued investment in improving productivity and efficiencies.
Ambassador Saran said that the current EU market situation can be attributed to the abolition of the EU sugar production quotas on 30th September 2017.
He concluded that Fiji fully support 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, and to engage with the ACP to look into ways of addressing the current situation which has led to many of the ACP suppliers under the EPA and EBA initiative to cease exports of sugar to the EU market so soon after the abolition of the EU sugar production quotas.