The SAVEourSUGAR campaign aims to motivate stakeholders at European and national level in politics, industry and at consumer level. This will help maintain a dynamic European cane refining industry for Europe. SAVEourSUGAR is not seeking special treatment for cane sugar, but a level playing field in which cane and beet sugar compete on an equal basis in order to maintain, in the long-term, a sustainable European manufacturing business when the next phase of the sugar regime commences in 2017.
The dire situation facing Europe’s cane refiners
Cane refining has existed in Europe since the 1850s but the future of the industry is under serious threat as a result of unfair decision-making at EU level. For decades, European policy makers have formulated policies which have favoured domestic beet sugar production at the expense of the cane refining sector.
Since 2009 Europe’s cane sugar refiners have been unable to import sufficient amounts of cane sugar for refining under fair terms. Despite growing demand for sugar worldwide, cane refiners in Europe are stifled by punitive import duties set by the EU, and inadequate volumes of duty-free imports. As a result, cane refiners cannot operate their businesses in an economically viable manner, which puts jobs and an entire industry in jeopardy.
The already difficult situation is expected to worsen. In June 2013, the EU agreed the partial deregulation of the EU sweetener industry as part of the CAP reform package. From 2017 onwards, Europe’s beet sugar and isoglucose sectors will be unleashed from a quota system, allowing them to produce as much sugar as they wish free of constraint. In sharp contrast, Europe’s cane sugar refining sector will continue to suffer from a policy that restricts access to raw material supply to just 5 percent of world trade in sugar.
The aim of the SAVEourSUGAR campaign
To correct this inequality of treatment and to build a level playing field, we are working with stakeholders around Europe and notably within the EU policy community to raise awareness about the direct consequences of the post-2017 reforms. We want to influence policy change to improve our access to duty free and competitive raw cane sugar.
In the long-term, the complete removal of all import duties on raw cane sugar is the only way to ensure a level playing field between Europe’s cane refiners and an unleashed (post abolition of quota) beet sugar sector.
In the short to medium term however, we have identified two measures which would immediately help to alleviate the pressures on cane refiners (1) securing improved access to raw material through Free Trade Agreements (FTAs); and (2) removal of the “CXL” duty.
Why cane refiners are important to Europe
Cane refining has been a successful European manufacturing industry for over 400 years providing some 5,000 highly skilled jobs around the EU and essential ingredients to the retail, food manufacturing and catering sectors. It has shared this marketplace with beet processing and isoglucose production for over 100 years. Cane refiners bring competition to a market otherwise dominated by beet processors and protected by punitively high import duties. Cane refiners are important to consumers, bringing competition and choice.
Moreover, cane refiners help to ensure European food security, by providing a basic foodstuff from a different raw material and manufacturing model. Cane refiners also provide the EU with an important link to global markets, and help the EU deliver its development objectives by being a stable and long-term market for the developing world.
Join our campaign
The SAVEourSUGAR campaign wants to achieve fair treatment for cane sugar, but also to build a competitive environment for the entire sugar sector so that it can compete successfully worldwide. If EU policies continue to restrict access to our raw materials, cane refiners may not survive as part of Europe’s sugar supply mix.
Join our campaign for fair treatment of cane refining!