25 Nov 2005

Anger at EU sugar deal which Oxfam says ignores the impact on developing countries

5:49 pm on 25 November 2005

The NGO Oxfam New Zealand says that a deal to cut sugar production in Europe is the worst possible outcome for developing countries like Fiji.

The EU has agreed to reduce the guaranteed price paid to its sugar beet farmers over the next four years by 36 percent.

This will impact on Fiji and other sugar producers in the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of nations which receive the same rate as the local sugar beet farmers - a rate that is several times the world market price.

Barry Coates, the executive director of Oxfam New Zealand, calls it a scandalous betrayal of the poorest countries.

"We are very concerned that the steep and sudden price cut will not be matched by adequate compensation to allow sugar producing countries to deal with the huge reforms that they will have to go through. To add insult to injury the EU is continuing to subsidise its own over production - so we think this is the worst of all worlds."