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Strube brings the European world of sugar together

Söllingen, 11 June 2013 – Sina Isabel Strube welcomed the international sugar world to the symposium on “The future of sugar in Europe” at the end of May in Wernigerode (Harz).  The purpose was to debate arguments about forthcoming plans to reform European sugar policy. 


The future of sugar in Europe is presently being negotiated at EU level.  Jørn Dalby, President of CIBE, the International Confederation of Sugar Beet Growers in Europe, set out the various positions taken at the European level: whilst the Commission is debating the discontinuation of quotas and minimum price regulations from 30th September 2015, the Agriculture Council and Parliament are in favour of an extension until 2017 or 2020.


Sugar beet growers should be able to grow sugar in a viable manner for the global market.  According to Dalby, time is needed to reinforce the competitiveness of sugar beet compared to sugar cultivation outside Europe.


The future of sugar in Europe

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In his speech, Dr. Kirchberg, who is on the Executive Board of Südzucker AG, emphasised that EU sugar is produced sustainably.  For example, sugar beet requires much less water and has significantly greater CO2 conversion than sugar cane.  However, to maintain the competitiveness of sugar beet, a reliable planning framework is required which also goes beyond governmental reform plans.


The purchase price of sugar as a commodity as well as compliance with supply agreements are decisive for the food industry.  Although Gaby Symonds, Purchasing Manager for Nestlé Deutschland AG, recognises the advantages of inexpensive sugar on the global market, transparency in farming and production in terms of ethical and ecological aspects also play a role at her company.


Breeding is particularly important when it comes to the efficiency of sugar beet.  “Sugar beet is far from exhausting its performance potential.  As sugar beet breeders, we are working on keeping sugar beet competitive”, says Dr. Axel Schechert, the Hybrid Breeding Manager at Strube Research.  “Our varieties increase the white sugar yield by up to 2% a year.” Plant breeding services were then presented during a subsequent tour of the research premises.


Decisions about sugar policy regarding the future of sugar in Europe are expected this month.  It remains to be seen what the effects of this will be for sugar beet growers, breeding, the sugar processing industry and ultimately for consumers.



Source: Strube GmbH & Co. KG

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