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EU ponders sugar industry reforms


Talon

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EU ponders sugar industry reforms

By Jannat Jalil

BBC News

EU agriculture ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss how to carry out urgently needed reforms of Europe's multi-million dollar sugar industry.

The World Trade Organisation last month ruled that the industry is unfairly subsidised by governments, undermining producers in developing countries.

The EU is now proposing to cut prices by about a third.

It also wants to reduce the amount of sugar produced, so that the excess is not dumped on other countries.

Two international aid groups, Oxfam and the World Wide Fund for Nature, have produced reports to coincide with the meeting that allege sugar subsidies cost ordinary Europeans billions of dollars in higher taxes and food prices.

Low expectations

Because the EU's sugar industry is so heavily subsidised, Europe is able to sell sugar at well below the market rate.

The EU's executive arm, the European Commission, is now proposing the changes.

But officials say they do not expect any real progress until the WTO responds to the EU's appeal against its ruling that the subsidies given to European sugar producers are excessive.

That response is expected to take several months.

Oxfam says its research has shown that if the EU did limit the help it gives to sugar farmers, it would benefit some of the world's poorest countries - creating tens of thousands of jobs in Mozambique and Zambia alone.

But European sugar producers say drastic cuts in subsidies could lead to the loss of thousands of jobs in the EU.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/business/4031309.stm

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Tricky issue, as all farming things in globalizing economy. Places like Finland are in danger to loose the domestic production completely, 'cause it's just not profitable here when measured in bigger scale. How to compensate the jobs lost, dunno.. maybe we should send our farmers to Mozambique or Zambia. Hooray for the free competition and commerce dontgetit.gif

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that's what happens when govt. wellfare gets it's hands on things. Job loss is a heartstring red herring. Bad things happen. Eliminate Job loss across the globe! And poverty, and homelessness, and crime! Govt. can make it happen.

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Actually capitalism causes poverty, and homelessness, and crime, not socialism.

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