The National Confectioners Association (NCA) and the Association of Chocolate, Biscuit and Confectionery Industries of Europe (CAOBISCO) released a joint statement urging for governments of the US and Europe to take urgent action in addressing shortfalls in the sugar market.
“We are urging the US and The EU Commission and Member States to relax tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) to allow for additional and faster importation of quality white sugar. Where possible, we encourage collaboration and cooperation to facilitate access to additional imported sugar supplies. There are several tools available to both the American and European authorities,” they said.
Both associations are “deeply concerned” with the current state of sugar markets in North America and Europe, they said, as tight supply and supply chain obstacles have pushed prices to “historic and unsustainable” levels.
“Inaction could result in factory slowdowns and stoppages in a time of global economic uncertainty. This uncertainty places a burden on the market and the consumer, especially when we look to deliver products in a timely manner. Currently, demand far exceeds supply, and this has a ripple effect throughout the whole supply chain.”
Current obstacles in the US and Europe revolve around what associations are calling unnecessary protection of the market – import restrictions – due to extreme high import tariffs for sugar.
In the US, candy makers are struggling with supply chain issues affecting other sectors in the US economy which raise costs.
According to Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released by the Department of Labor, the cost of consumer food products is up 13% compared with products from last year, the largest 12 month increase since 1979.
In Europe, companies are struggling with an unsustainable sugar supply chain crisis. Sugar prices have reached “historic levels” and this year has overseen low sugar supply. General supply chain obstacles have played a role in the supply, exacerbated by a decrease in beet planting areas and yields. The war in Ukraine has hampered access to energy and other inputs, affecting food security across the continent.
Policies in the US and Europe have contributed to supply shortages and abnormally high price levels. Access to inputs has been hampered by freight problems, port and shipping issues and a labour shortage, all of which the NCA and CAOBISCO are urging governments to address.
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