Sugar quotas look likely to remain in place until 2020 after the European Parliament voted to extend them earlier today.

MEPs voted to overturn a previous plan to end the quota system, which restricts imports of sugar cane, in 2015 in order to protect European sugar beet farmers from volatile prices.

However, food manufacturers said the vote was misguided and would contribute to continued sugar price inflation. EU sugar prices are currently about 50% higher than the world price.

“Today’s vote brings the EU back to outdated, protectionist policies of the past, which distort the market and jeopardize security of supply for the entire food chain,” said the Committee of European Sugar Users, a trade group representing the likes of Kraft and Nestlé.

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