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Sugar Regime

6.23.2005

Interestingly it is both the Farmers of the EU and Africa who look unhappy with the reform to the EU sugar regime. It has been forecsat yesterday that the outcome would be too simple to deal with poverty and take little or no account of the substance behind the WTO ruling. However when they released the statement most development campaigners realised the raw deal that was received by everyone but those with the power to cut costs on a massive scale, i.e. the "Sugar Barons". There is a broader point here, simple free market deregulaiton only benefits the biggest of those in business that can absorb the risk and reduce costs accordingly.
The reform of the sugar pact seems to have been a simple revision of price, little or no attention paid to export subsidy and other trading standards such as access. This is shameful and the wilfull determination of the EU to not reform CAP and Agriculture policy may take a more malignant form of disinterested and lazy reform. At present the doomsayers reckon no one wins and my rudimentary knowledge of economics tells me that they might be right.
Certainly this is nothing like the Wholistic and global solution that is needed to remedy the current regime in favour of small farmers who trade in the EU. Big farmers are benefitting from big corporate interest and economies of scale. Small farmers need our help in ensuring that they can sustain a livelihood.
Back to the sugar reform, it seems that oxfam(2) aint happy. And why should they, for once some farmers were getting some benefit from the EU regime on sugar and agriculture. It seemed clear to anyone with a conscience that this reform is an abysmal disregard of global responsibilities to use the vast wealth at the disposal of the EU to guard the small and the poor from harsh and exploitative regimes of pricing across the trading field. Yet all they have done is simply chop the price floor. It lack imaignation andengenders little confidence in the EU's drive to support development and progressive causes like tempering the harsh effects of the markets on the weakest of the sector.
The uproar in ireland will probable focus on the farming lobby and the perceived wrongdoing done to them. There is no moral ground for subsidising the rich, on the other hand those in ireland who struggle to make ends meet due to size, price or capacity and those who suffe similarly across the EU and the South deserve support in the struggle to be self sufficient.
RR

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