Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

New inquiry announced:

Reform of the EU Sugar Regime

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has decided, as its first inquiry in the new Parliament, to follow up its previous investigation into Reform of the Sugar Regime by considering the draft legislative proposals to reform the sugar regime, published by the European Commission on 22 June 2005.

The Committee will take a strategic look at the proposed reform of the EU sugar regime. It recognises that there are two distinct aspects to the discussions on the future of the regime: the perspective of the EU and UK sugar industry, and the impact in the international sphere, taking into account the concerns of cane sugar producers in developing countries. The Committee will initially address the first aspect-the impacts on the EU and UK sugar industry. Evidence is requested on the following key points:

• the extent and timescale of the proposed price reductions

• the extent to which the proposed reductions in price will be transmitted to the consumer

• the implications for UK agriculture, with particular regard to possible alternative land uses

• the proposed arrangements for compensating EU producers

• the changes to the quota arrangements

• the potential impact of the reforms on UK-based sugar beet processors and cane refiners, and the long-term consequences for their industries.

The Committee also expects to consider the wider international issues in due course.

The Committee invites all interested parties to address these matters in writing. The deadline for submissions is Monday 19 September 2005. More information about the required format of submissions is given below. The Committee aims to report before the EU Agriculture Council on 22 November 2005.

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NOTES FOR SUBMITTERS

Submissions should be in Word or rich text format and sent by e-mail to [email protected] The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary, ideally no more than one page long.

Committees make public much of the evidence they receive during inquiries. If you do not wish your submission to be published, you must clearly say so. If you wish to include private or confidential information in your submission to the Committee, please contact the Clerk of the Committee to discuss this. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

Personal information, such as address and contact details, should be provided separately from the body of your submission. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, no public use should be made of the submission unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

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The European Commission's draft legislative proposals (COM (2005) 263 final) can be found here: http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/capreform/sugar/prop_en.pdf

The EFRA Committee's report into Reform of the Sugar Regime can be found here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmenvfru/550/550.pdf.
The Government reply can be found here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmenvfru/1129/1129.pdf

This inquiry complements the wider-ranging investigation recently announced by Sub-Committee D (Environment and Agriculture) of the House of Lords Select Committee of the European Union: for more details see: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/EUDSUgarCfE.pdf

For further details about this inquiry, please contact Jonathan Little on 020 7219 3279. Information about the Committee can be found at: http://www.parliament.uk/efracom