Wednesday

17th Aug 2022

Oxfam accuses EU of hypocrisy

The European Union has rejected the British development charity Oxfam’s accusations that Europe’s sugar regime is undermining opportunities for people in the developing world to work their way out of poverty. Oxfam argues that huge EU sugar subsidies generate vast profits for big sugar processors and large farmers whereas farmers and agricultural labourers in poor countries suffer the consequences.

Oxfam announced that no agricultural sector is in such urgent need of radical reform, however sugar is not even included in the European Commission's latest reform proposals. "European consumers and taxpayers are paying to destroy livelihoods in some of the world's poorest countries," said the charity official.

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The sugar subsidies have helped farmers in Germany, Britain and France to become the world's largest exporters of white sugar, but at the same time they are the world's most expensive producers. It costs 670 euro to produce a tonne of white sugar in Europe while in Brazil and Ethiopia only 280 euro.

Blatant hypocrisy

Oxfam admits that full sugar reform is not going to take place before 2006, therefore they call for some immediate reforms. The charity believes that an immediate 25% cut in EU sugar quota production is needed.

"The sugar regime is a clear example of Europe's blatant hypocrisy in dealing with developing countries," said Phil Bloomer of Oxfam to BBC. EU spokesman, Thorsten Muench, on the other hand said that the EU was taking the lead in opening its sugar markets to the Third World.

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