On 4 September 2012, the Committee published a report on EU sugar policy. The European Commission responded to the report on 13 March 2013. A debate in the House of Lords is expected in due course.
The report, 'Leaving a bitter taste? The EU Sugar Regime', was the conclusion of the Committee’s short, follow-up inquiry following 2005’s 'Too Much or Too Little? Changes to the EU Sugar Regime', published when reform of the regime was imminent. The Committee wanted to examine the progress of reform and what measures would be necessary in future, prior to the EU finalising its position on this issue in the context of negotiations to reform the entire Common Agricultural Policy, negotiations which are expected to be concluded this summer.
The Committee concluded that more needed to be done to get EU consumers a better deal on sugar, given that the price of sugar for growers and producers had decreased after the 2005 reform, but the cost to the consumer actually increased.
In the report, the Committee also recommended that:
- production quotas for beet sugar be abolished in 2015;
- import tariffs on raw and refined sugar be eased; and that
- the European Commission should carefully monitor the disbursement of funding set aside to help lessen the impact of the 2006 reforns on developing countries to combat the delays that have been experienced thus far.