The Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate & Confectionery Alliance has asked the Office of Fair Trading to investigate the UK sugar supply market.

BCCCA director general Mike Webber said: “We are of the view that there could well be a breach of the competitive state of the market for the supply of sugar to food manufacturers in the UK.”

Webber said that in the UK, there was one beet and one cane supplier and that prices for sugar were some of the highest within the EU.

The EU sugar regime is currently under review and the BCCCA said it hoped for a radical reform of the regime to bring EU internal prices in line with world prices.

However, the BCCCA believes it is unlikely that any changes will take place before 2006, when the present EU sugar regime is due to expire.

Webber said: “In the meantime, we have asked the OFT to address the lack of competition in the UK sugar industry, with the aim of bringing UK sugar prices at least into line with those in other member states.”