GLOBAL trade liberalisation has influenced sugar-producing countries worldwide, according to the chairman of the African Caribbean Pacific Ministerial Committee on Sugar, Satya Veyash Faugoo.
Speaking at the 13th ACP Ministerial Conference on Sugar, he said trade liberalisation with the world's biggest sugar producers — Brazil and India — had led to a surge in world sugar production and exerted downward pressure on world sugar prices.
"This can force ACP countries out of competition with large-scale producing countries," he said.
"The competitive pressure is further exacerbated by other challenges, including the EU sugar reform, volatile world prices, rising production costs, competition from alternative sweeteners, the impacts of climate change and food security and poverty in the communities that grow sugar cane."
Mr Faugoo said in his capacity as the ACP sugar group chair, he had lobbied with other member states to sensitise the EU to the vulnerability of the ACP sugar producers and the need to maintain EU quotas until 2020.
"We argue strongly that quota abolition would lead to market instability and price volatility resulting in acute risk to ACP sugar producers."
Mr Faugoo said this would undermine guarantees on sugar trade preferences made to the ACP.