CEFS, CIBE and EFFAT represent 61 sugar producing companies, 28,000 workers, and 140,000 sugar beet growers.
To coincide with the last round of trade negotiations between the EU and Mercosur, our organisations published a press release calling for the exclusion of sugar from the discussions. The Brazilian sugarcane association – UNICA – issued a response shortly afterwards.
Our reply to UNICA can be found here: it offers a broad overview of the support measures offered by the Brazilian government to its integrated sugar-ethanol sector.
Concrete figures on government intervention and subsidies for the Brazilian sugar and ethanol sector are not always transparent, because many support measures are not covered by the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (and therefore need not be notified). The result is that current WTO rules produce a wholly distorted image of government intervention in the Brazilian sugar-ethanol sector. This false picture is due also to Brazil’s ‘developing country’ status, which exempts a range of measures from the reduction commitment. This status bears no relation to the country’s current economic situation as an advanced agricultural economy.
As long as there is no level playing field, the EU sugar sector cannot accept further market access concessions to Brazil.