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New report by the Fairtrade Foundation - Sugar Crash

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Source: Fairtrade Foundation

The Fairtrade Foundation has just published their report Sugar Crash - How EU Reform is endangering the livelihoods of small farmers.  A European Union quota system capping EU beet sugar production, which enabled producers in developing countries to maintain their foothold in the European Union market, is set to end in 2017, according to the report. As a result, farmers in countries such as Guyana, Jamaica, Malawi, Fiji and Swaziland, who have relied on exporting sugar to the EU and have few other options, are facing the prospect of being squeezed out of the EU sugar market.

Subsidies from the EU

European sugar producers receive a subsidy from the EU, in the form of single farm payments. Sugar cane farmers in African, Caribbean and Pacific and least developed countries receive no subsidy from the EU. To make matters worse, the EU’s reforms coincide with a sharp slump in the global sugar price, which has halved in three years. Together, these two changes threaten disaster for small-scale farmers and their communities, the report reveals. According to the Department for International Development’s own research, the end of the European Union quota alone could push 200,000 people in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries into poverty by 2020. When combined with low sugar prices, the picture could be much worse.

Picture: Poster of the campaign


The Fairtrade Foundation is calling for the EU to convene

Threatened too is the future of Fairtrade sugar - one of the success stories of the movement, which has changed the lives of small-scale sugar cane farmers, helping them to increase their productivity, improve their businesses, and invest in a wide range of community projects. Although the EU has provided funding to support sugar cane farmers through the transition, it has not always been directed effectively and in many cases its impact will not be felt in time. The Fairtrade Foundation is calling for the EU to convene and lead a new initiative that brings together government, business and civil society, to jointly fund and deliver programmes to support sugar cane farming communities through this difficult period.

The full report is available here.









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