Beet growers ‘devastated’ by tariff-free sugar cane extension

Farmers Weekly
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
The government’s decision to extend its 260,000t tariff-free quota for raw cane sugar imports for another three years is “devastating news” for UK beet growers, the NFU has said. Michael Sly, chairman of NFU Sugar, said the extension would continue to allow imports of sugar produced to lower environmental standards in ways that would be illegal in the UK. The move, along with the complete liberalisation of sugar after eight years in the UK-Australia trade deal, could lead to the permanent decline of the UK sugar beet industry, he warned. Mr Sly said it was “incredibly concerning” that the government had claimed its decision to extend the sugar cane quota was based on evidence – yet none had been published. “Growers will be left to assume it is the same inconsistent and contradictory justification that was used when the quota was introduced a year ago,” he added.
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