Position papers

Our position on the reform of the EU sugar regime

Sugar is one of the basic feedstocks for industrial biotechnology processes.

EuropaBio Position paper on the Reform of the EU sugar regime


On 22 June 2005, EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel published a proposal for a far-reaching shift in EU sugar funding. The core of the proposal is a 39% price cut over two years, starting in 2006-2007, and sugar for non-food uses for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and for the production of bio-ethanol to be excluded from production quotas. European farmers will receive a 60% compensation for the losses incurred in exchange for the cuts. This regime will remain valid, without review, for nine years. 

Industrial/white Biotechnology is dependent on sugar

Industrial or white biotechnology is the application of biotechnology for the processing and production of enzymes, chemicals, materials and bioenergy. It uses enzymes and microorganisms to make products used in sectors such as chemistry, detergents, food and feed, paper and pulp, textiles, the pharmaceutical industry and energy. Industrial biotechnology is making an increasingly important contribution to the development of a sustainable, bio-based economy, and Europe is still one of the leading regions in this field. One of the basic feedstocks for many industrial biotechnology fermentation processes is sugar. As non-European competitors have access to much cheaper raw materials, access to world market prices for sugar is a condition for many European industrial biotechnology companies to stay in business and maintain operations in Europe.

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