EU Reforms Sugar Subsidies
Swedish Agriculture Minister Ann-Christin Nykvist has welcomed the decision by European Union ministers Thursday to overhaul the EU’s sugar subsidies, slashing prices by more than a third and offering generous pay-offs to farmers willing to abandon sugar beet production.
She says consumers will benefit from falling prices, and countries outside the EU will no longer be kept out of the European market.
There are around 300 sugar beet farms on the Swedish Baltic islands of Gotland and Öland. The Swedish Agriculture Minister says they will be hit hard by the reform, but she is glad her EU counterparts in the end accepted Swedish demands on the compensation issue.
The decision means that EU sugar production will fall into line with a World Trade Organization ruling that branded most of the bloc’s sugar exports as illegal.