Sir, I write in support of the comments made by James Lambert of R&R Ice Cream last week regarding the rising cost of sugar (‘R&R in call for EU action on rocketing cost of sugar’, The Grocer, 13 August).
We are facing a major issue in the EU of there not being enough sugar available to meet demand, which inevitably is driving up price. In recent years, imports from outside the EU have not arrived as anticipated, and bad weather conditions have affected yields.
CAP sugar reform was based on the assumption that world sugar prices would remain lower than prices in the EU, which has not been the case. Consequently, the EU sugar market is not working as it was intended to. So far, measures taken by Brussels have been reactive and have had little positive impact. A proactive approach needs to be taken to reassure the market and manage the potential shortage of supply. Significant changes are required to bring sufficient transparency and fair trading conditions to the market. As such, the EU reform should phase out sugar production quota as of 2015.
We support a strong European agricultural sector and are convinced that liberalisation of the sugar market will lead to a more competitive supply chain benefiting the industry, farmers and consumers.
Paul Grimwood, chairman & CEO, Nestlé UK & Ireland