EU sugar reform plans slammed
BirdLife have joined forces with WWF and Oxfam to demand that the EU reforms its sugar regime in a way that benefits poor farmers and the environment.
The organisations are lobbying the UK Environment Secretary, Margaret Beckett, ahead of an EU meeting next month when sugar reform will be discussed. BirdLife, Oxfam, and WWF reject current reform proposals because they favour the biggest, richest producers at the expense of poor farmers at home and abroad, and the environment.
The trio is calling for an end to subsidies that cause overproduction, export dumping and damage to the environment. They want a reform package that encourages environmental stewardship and offers improved market access for developing countries. Poor country growers affected by price cuts must be adequately compensated and more help must be offered to the world’s poorest developing countries to strengthen their sugar industries.
"Where and how we grow sugar has a massive impact on wildlife and the environment. We should be paying farmers to manage the countryside in a way that gives value for money to the taxpayer. Encouraging wildlife is amongst those benefits and farmers should be rewarded for doing so." —Ariel Brunner, Agriculture Policy Officer, BirdLife International
BirdLife is asking its supporters across Europe to email Margaret Beckett ahead of the EU Agriculture Council's meeting on October 24, and ask her to champion pro-poor, environmentally friendly sugar reform.
The e-petition is available on BirdLife's Farming for Life web site at www.birdlifecapcampaign.org