Growing opposition to current EU sugar reform proposals
Key European governments, Least Developed Countries and a broad range of producers, NGOs and industry representatives today condemned the current European Commission sugar reform proposals.
The diverse group of stakeholders came together at the seminar The European Sugar Regime: Alternative Reform Proposals to discuss reform alternatives. They emphasised the need for reform of the harmful regime, but said that the current proposals were not the answer and would harm the most vulnerable producers both inside and outside Europe.
The seminar was organised by Oxfam International and took place today in Madrid. Participants included Oxfam International, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the Spanish government, other EU member states, producers and sugar workers from Europe and Africa, representatives from the ACP countries (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific), unions and the private sector.
At a press conference afterwards, Gonzalo Fanjul, Oxfam International's spokesperson in Spain, said: " The EU's sugar policies need an immediate and radical reform. The proposals put forward by the European Commission are not acceptable. They fail to address the needs of producers in the world's poorest countries or those of small-scale European farmers. Today, we saw that there is a broad range of stakeholders who are against the reforms. Oxfam is calling on the EC to listen to everyone affected by the reform and introduce proposals that take into account the needs of the many different people dependent on this industry, not just the biggest richest farmers and the largest processing companies".
Oxfam invited Mrs. Elena Espinosa, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture to the meeting. During the seminar, Espinosa said: " The interest of the small-producers in Spain coincides with the small producers in the LDCs. The price reduction proposed by the EC should be phased in slowly because Spain needs time to adapt, step by step. If there is a sharp price reduction there is no way that the Least Developed Countries will be able to adapt to the change ".
José Chilengue, executive director of the Mozambique Sugar Producers Association and representative of the Least Developed Countries said: " With these reforms, most of our dreams will collapse. The sugar industry is the largest private employer in Mozambique and is a key element for economic development due to its power to reduce poverty. With the proposed sugar reform all this will be under serious threat. We will not survive with these changes ".
The EU's legislative proposals on sugar reform are expected to be announced on June 22.
For more information please contact:
David Viñuales, Oxfam Press Officer, Barcelona: 34 93 482 0842;
34 699 075 282
Amy Barry, Oxfam Press Officer, Oxford: 44 (0)1865 312498;
44 (0) 7980 664397
Louis Bélanger, Oxfam Press Officer, Brussels: 32 2 502 0391;
32 473 562 260
European Union Office reports and papers
As food scandals hit the headlines, is food safety a casualty of today’s high & volatile #foodprices? http://t.co/Yuh7N0RUtN7 min 27 sec ago
RT @OxfamAmerica: Our deepest sympathies to @DivineChocolate on the loss of Christiana Ohene-Agyare, Pres. of Kuapa Kokoo in #Ghana http://…1 hour 58 sec ago
What success at the #G8 would look like: 'We’ll stop hurting our brothers & sisters' http://t.co/yjtQNoc64W #land #taxjustice1 hour 56 min ago
Ban Ki-moon's visit to Goma, #DRC welcomed following new explosion of violence, but its causes need to be addressed http://t.co/2wATHBmLrm2 hours 52 min ago
Why is Russia still arming #Syria? Interesting @NYTimes editorial http://t.co/mDrecVJf4v #oil #NYT #SyriaCrisis3 hours 40 min ago
Oops, correct link here to press release: ‘Squeezed’: how poor ppl are adjusting to rising #foodprices http://t.co/lgDXW3bjK04 hours 5 min ago
#EU leaders back the interests of an elite minority, fail to clamp down on #taxdodging http://t.co/VNbvkyMmyG @OxfamEU4 hours 20 min ago
RT @louis_press: Lebanon saw an increase of 12% of its population (500.000) w/ #refugees from #Syria = As if 7.5m would enter Great Britain…5 hours 37 min ago
RT @louis_press: Untold story of #syria war is the incredible generosity + hospitality of ppl of #Lebanon #Jordan #Iraq. Despite tensions, …5 hours 55 min ago
More than 80,000 people have been killed & several million displaced since the #SyriaCrisis began http://t.co/WYbyDUytmX #Syria6 hours 6 min ago
Delayed weddings & funerals: Today’s high #foodprices are exacting a deep social cost on poor people http://t.co/eUru4L7Y787 hours 8 min ago
Risky jobs & domestic violence = the social cost of today’s high #foodprices http://t.co/UFZRYFYWqi new Oxfam & @IDS_UK report8 hours 40 min ago
+32 million people fled their homes last yr because of #climate disasters such as floods, storms, earthquakes http://t.co/CumgcyOrWK9 hours 9 min ago
Africa must be in control of its fortune - and therefore it's future http://t.co/kMnJFIQmQu @Winnie_Byanyima via @allafrica21 hours 20 min ago
As summer temps could reach +100°F, health risks increase for #Syria #refugees in Jordan & Lebanon http://t.co/Zhzv5FT8he #SyriaCrisis23 hours 34 min ago