26 Oct 2005

ACP group says cut in EU sugar subsidy will cost US$320m each year

4:59 pm on 26 October 2005

The African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries says they'll lose 320 million US dollars in revenues each year once the European Union reduces sugar subsidies in July.

Sugar directly employs 350,000 people across all the ACP states, but industry officials say that if the families of sugar workers are included, millions will be affected by the reforms.

ACP states say the reforms will cripple national efforts to fight poverty and lead to massive unemployment and higher rates of crime.

The sugar industry makes up about eight percent of Fiji's Gross Domestic Product.

The Caribbean island nation of St Kitts and Nevis has announced plans to stop producing sugar, saying the EU reforms would no longer make sugar a profitable commodity.