Sugar industry slightly adjusts production estimate and looks to Brussels with concern: SUR needs to be changed significantly

Wirtschaftliche Vereinigung Zucker
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
The future of the sugar industry will be decided in Brussels next week. Factory employees and beet growers are looking with great concern at the EU Parliament's vote on the regulation on the sustainable use of plant protection products (SUR) and are calling for decisive adjustments. The corresponding Commission proposal currently provides for a blanket ban on plant protection products in sensitive areas. The Environment Committee's proposal to only allow ecological or so-called low-risk pesticides is also unacceptable. The regulation would also affect large areas in the catchment area of ​​sugar factories. Conventional beet cultivation would no longer be possible here. As a result, sugar factories could no longer operate at full capacity and, in the worst case scenario, would have to close. The chairmen of the general works councils of Südzucker, Nordzucker and Pfeifer & Langen point out the consequences: “Our plants in Germany, with their approximately 5,700 employees, are a very attractive employer in their respective regions and create over 50,000 additional jobs in upstream and downstream areas. We are missing beets because farmers are giving up cultivation and factories are closing. Then the sugar comes from overseas. This cannot be the solution for sustainable food security in Europe.”
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