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Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide

Unions and the EU Process of Sugar Reform

Posted to the IUF website 17-Jun-2005

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On 28 April, the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) upheld a previous WTO ruling that the European Union (EU) illegally subsidises a significant portion of its sugar exports.

The WTO ruling would accelerate, and probably deepen, the process of reform of the EU sugar regime, which is an independent yet related process to reduce the support to EU beet growing and sugar manufacturing.

A study by the EU Agriculture Commission is quoted as saying that about 25,500 direct industrial/factory jobs would be lost and 54 factories be closed in the EU-15 as a result of the proposed reforms. The potential loss of decent jobs in the EU sugar sector has to be a concern for every sugar worker in the world, any sugar consumer in the EU, and, in fact, for anyone involved in the international sugar industry.

To read about the effects of the EU reform process on the sugar industries in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) and the Least Developed Countries and the link between development, sustainability and decent jobs click here.