• Cane refiners assist in delivering Europe's development goals as they use different raw material for sugar

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European Commission pockets nearly €35 million in last week from Europe’s cane sugar refiners

Brussels, 15 December 2011 – European Commission pockets nearly €35 million in last week from Europe’s cane sugar refiners by forcing them to pay import duties on raw material that should be duty free.

For the second week in a row Europe’s cane sugar refiners are forced to flag the threat to their viability as a result of the desperate auction process the European Commission have forced them in to. The auction is to replace just some of the refiners’ raw material that the EU foresaw would come duty free when Member States agreed to the current sugar regime in late 2005.

João Pereira, President of ESRA, said “Our industry has been forced to pay nearly €35 million in the last 7 days alone to get its hands on raw material supply that its refineries and the market desperately need. Our industry is running at 60 percent capacity and this is just not sustainable.”

Pereira added “Thousands of high- quality European manufacturing jobs in our industry are at stake. We are sure that is not the intention of the European Commission – but that will be the outcome if something does not change.”

In the same week Europe’s beet processors, the main competitors of the refiners, have been gifted 400,000 tonnes of new supply by the Commission at just a third of the cost refiners are being forced to pay. All of this extra supply was envisaged to be duty free cane imports when political agreement on the Sugar Regime was agreed in 2005.

About ESRA

ESRA, the European Sugar Refiners’ Association, was created at the end of 2010. It represents the interests of full-time cane sugar refiners in Europe.

For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact the ESRA Secretariat,

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