Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Gya: Sugar and the EU on C aricom's agenda

This EU gambit is likely to hit Jamaica and Belize really hard because both are banana and sugar producers, and they have already been socked by the EU's cutting of the banana regime.

Stating that some interesting, legal and political questions are going to arise, [Caricom Secretary General, Edwin] Carrington said that the worrying thing about the sugar protocol is the guaranteed price for the region's sugar being negotiated annually and linked to the price being paid in Europe for beet sugar.

He said if the Europeans cut their price by 40% "the question then is what is your legal case against your price, which is linked to it being similarly diminished." If the EU can provide income support for their farmers because of the loss of income, he asked, "do we [in the Caribbean] have an equal case to that income support where it is not defined as a part of the price of sugar?"

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