28 Sep 2005

EU happy to help Fiji sugar industry but not to the extent demanded by the NGO, Oxfam

1:14 pm on 28 September 2005

The European Commission says it will help the Fiji sugar industry adapt to a new market environment but not at the level demanded by OXFAM.

OXFAM, in a report last week, said the EU was obliged to help the ailing Fiji industry as it moved to cut the subsidised rates it pays for sugar.

It said the EU should pay to modernise Fiji's mills and fund new technologies.

A trade advisor with the EC in Fiji, Myfanwy Van der Velde, says the OXFAM report has some useful ideas that they may investigate, but in conjunction with other aid donors.

She says the EU has a 3 point plan to help.

"One, make the sugar industry more competitive; two, develop other income generating sources - I think probably for farmers since they will be the people most affected; and three, for what you might call social impact mitigation."