30 Apr 2007

Hope for unified approach by ACP countries at Fiji sugar meeting

3:30 pm on 30 April 2007

There is hope that there will be a unified approach agreed to by the African, Caribbean and Pacific, or ACP countries, by the end of a meeting on sugar in Fiji to discuss negotiations with the European Union.

The EU is ending its preferential pricing for sugar from ACP countries in 2009 but from this year, it is also gradually reducing the price it is willing to pay.

In place, the EU has promised to provide a financial assistance package to lessen the impact of losing those prices.

The chief executive of the Fiji Cane Growers Council, Jai Gawander, says they are doing their best to ensure that a unified approach for future negotiations is reached.

"I think the most important thing for the growers is to see that we are able to safeguard what we have in the sugar protocols, I think that's the most crucial thing. The new regime that starts this year, we want to see that we safeguard the best parts of the protocol, basically we're looking at the price guarantees."

Jai Gawander