The first meeting of the High-level group on sugar, announced by Commissioner Hogan in November 2018, takes place in Brussels today to discuss the EU sugar market situation. The meeting will address the development of the EU sugar market since the end of the quota system on 30 September 2017.
EU sugar production increased significantly in the first marketing year (2017/18) after the end of the quota system compared to the previous year (2016/17). This led to a decline in the EU sugar price, in a context of global sugar surplus and low international prices. Member States have therefore expressed concerns for the sector's economic viability. In response, agriculture and rural development Commissioner Phil Hogan decided to establish a High-level group on sugar to ensure a thorough evaluation of the sugar sector on a European and national level.
The aims of the High-level group meeting are:
- to discuss the current market situation for sugar, identifying key challenges and opportunities in the transition towards a less regulated market;
- to explore and evaluate possible solutions and policy measures addressing the concerns of EU member states.
At today’s meeting, each member state will present the situation of the sugar market in their country, focusing on the sector’s evolution between 2006 and 2018; outline challenges they are currently facing; and evaluate the measures currently in place.
In addition, the European Commission will make a presentation on the evolution of the sugar market since the end of the quota system and the existing CAP measures that could support the EU sugar sector in its transition towards a stronger market orientation.
The EU sugar quota system came to an end on 30 September 2017, a decision initially taken by member states in 2006 and confirmed by the European Parliament and the Council in 2013. As a result, European producers have now the possibility to adjust their production to real commercial opportunities, notably in exploring new export markets, while also simplifying policy management and administrative burden for operators, growers and traders.
Between 2006 and 2010, the sugar sector was thoroughly restructured with the support of €5.4 billion. This allowed the sector to prepare for the end of the quota, with productivity improving throughout this period.
29 January 2019