UK Area Under Sugar Beet Set to Surge

 

Summary

A major expansion of the area under sugar beet in the UK (+ 1/3) is planned in 2017/18, with potentially a further major expansion by 2020 if current investment plans of Al Khaleej International to re-establish sugar beet processing in Yorkshire are approved. While a failure to conclude a UK-EU27 trade agreement could open up new export opportunities for ACP sugar suppliers to the UK, this would be strongly influenced by future UK sugar sector tariff policy. If tariffs remain unchanged the source of ACP sugar imported into the UK could shift from the Caribbean and Pacific suppliers to lower cost Southern African suppliers. UK government policy statements suggest Southern African LDC sugar exporters would enjoy the most secure commitment to continued duty free-quota free access for sugar exports to the UK market post Brexit, providing them with an inside track in pending negotiations over supply agreements for 2019. Read more “UK Area Under Sugar Beet Set to Surge”

UK Food Policy Academics Warn of Serious Brexit Complications for UK Agro-food Sector

Summary

Academic analysis suggests the lack of attention to detail and serious capacity constraints in the UK administration could undermine the functioning of UK food safety and SPS control systems with this serving to disrupt the smooth functioning of import supply chains.  It also argues policy uncertainties around Brexit could well enhance the influence of large agro-food sector players to the detriment of the smooth functioning of agro-food sector supply chains.  This suggests a need for more proactive engagement of ACP exporters associations in these Brexit related policy issues. Read more “UK Food Policy Academics Warn of Serious Brexit Complications for UK Agro-food Sector”

French producers lead way in expanding EU sugar beet production despite low global sugar prices

Summary

Both Tereos and Cristal Union have announced plans to expand sugar beet plantings by 25% in the 2017/18 season, as EU sugar companies’ battle for market position in a post-production quota EU market. The corresponding contraction of sugar production in areas less favoured for sugar production is however undermined by continued deployment of coupled sugar specific sugar to producers in 10 EU member states accounting for 35% of the total area under sugar beet in the EU in 2016/17. These payments range from €67 to €518 per ha. The trade effects of these policy driven distortions will be most severely felt by traditionally preferred ACP sugar exporters, as EU sugar imports contract and exports expand. ACP sugar exporters will need to radically rethink their market positioning strategies if they are to profitably export to the EU. Read more “French producers lead way in expanding EU sugar beet production despite low global sugar prices”

Post Brexit port chaos could disrupt ACP Supply Chains to the UK via the Netherlands and Belgium

Summary

A consultancy report suggests significant additional logistical costs could arise on EU27-UK agro-food trade regardless of the final UK-EU27 tariff dispensation, as a result of the introduction of new customs controls. Depending on post-Brexit arrangements the cost effects range from additional transportation costs to a need to fundamentally rethink the import-export trade for perishable products. Given major ACP supply chain serve the UK market via other EU member states, this could profoundly disrupt the functioning of these supply chains, with fresh fruit, horticulture and floriculture exports via the Netherlands being most severely affected.  This requires a study to scope the scale of the problem and identify possible remedial measures and the creation of market repositioning support initiatives by both the EU28 and UK authorities. Read more “Post Brexit port chaos could disrupt ACP Supply Chains to the UK via the Netherlands and Belgium”

DIT SACU Discussions to Extend Current Access to the UK Market More than a Technical Exercise

Summary
During the July 2017 visit of UK Secretary of State Lord Price to Southern Africa a commitment was made to replicating current market access arrangements post-Brexit. However it remains unclear how this to be achieved. The transitional extension of existing reciprocal preferences could not only face serious opposition from WTO members but would be far from a simple ‘technical exercise’. New rules of origin which took account of the UK’s departure from the EU agreement would be essential, in order to establish which products qualified for ‘originating status as UK products. The alternative would amount to an absence of rules or origin. Either would be a substantive modification of the existing terms of the UK’s export trade. The future of Tariff rate Quota (TRQ) arrangements under the EU agreement would also need to be resolved in the immediate post Brexit period. Looking to the longer term, there are a multiplicity of non-tariff issues related to post-Brexit UK trade and agricultural policies which give rise to profound uncertainties over the future value of any post Brexit preferential trade arrangement with the UK for certain SACU members. Many of these uncertainties will need to be addressed before the future value of a bilateral trade deal with the UK can be fully assessed. Read more “DIT SACU Discussions to Extend Current Access to the UK Market More than a Technical Exercise”

Dominican Republic and West Africa lead way in growth in ACP Mango exports to the EU

 

Summary
ACP exports of mangoes to the EU have grown strongly, particularly since 2007, with further growth in EU consumer demand likely. While tariffs are not an issue in the mango sector, new trade agreements do appear to have boosted investment and facilitated expanded exports in both ACP and non-ACP countries in response to rising EU demand. Brexit is unlikely to pose any challenges for direct ACP mango exports to the UK, but could lead to problems if the absence of a UK-EU27 agreement, spills over into reduced cooperation on SPS and freight forwarding arrangements.  This is important in the mango sector given the role the Netherlands plays in the re-export trade across the EU, including to the UK. This issue needs to be closely monitored by those ACP exporters which are most likely to be affected. Read more “Dominican Republic and West Africa lead way in growth in ACP Mango exports to the EU”

Salient points for the ACP from a review of legal implications for the agro-food sector or Brexit

Summary

In the agro-food sector the repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act could leave a legal vacuum with regard to EU rules set in place through regulations which were directly applicable. This includes, for example, rules governing food safety and import inspection and control systems. Legal uncertainty could impact on sourcing practices of UK retailers. There would appear to be a need for ACP exporters to ‘look out for things that have been missedin the sphere of agro-food sector trade. The ACP may well need to make a political issue of ensuring legal certainty in all areas affecting UK imports of agro-food products, with collaboration with the UK Fresh Produce Consortium potentially offering a cost effective means of getting to grip with this issue. Read more “Salient points for the ACP from a review of legal implications for the agro-food sector or Brexit”

Role of UK Groceries Code Adjudicator could be extended

Summary

The UK GCA performance has been praised for gradually changing supermarket practices, with a debate now underway on whether the scope of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) should be extended. Traidcraft has called for such an extension to address abuses which take place elsewhere in grocery supply chains served by developing country suppliers, who currently have no means of seeking redress. Strengthening the code to effectively cover all routes to market used by developing country suppliers is one important dimension of the current GCA review. A further important dimension is the important role which such regulatory initiatives can play in changing supermarket sourcing practices. This is an important issue given the growing role of foreign owned supermarkets across the ACP and the difficulties this poses for local agricultural producers in entering this expanding retail market component. Read more “Role of UK Groceries Code Adjudicator could be extended”

Pacific sustainable palm oil supply chains could face disruption from Brexit

Summary

A market positioning strategy has been adopted by Pacific island palm oil producers focused on the supply of fully traceable sustainably certified palm oil through a dedicated facility in the UK which then serves the whole of the EU28 market for fully traceable sustainable palm oil. Any failure to conclude an UK-EU27 trade agreement by 30 March 2019 could see a re-imposition of tariffs by the EU27 on Pacific palm oil processed in the UK. This could disrupt the functioning of existing Pacific palm oil supply chains and compound the challenges being faced by Pacific palm oil suppliers as a result of environmental and health campaigns in the EU against the use of palm oil in food products. Read more “Pacific sustainable palm oil supply chains could face disruption from Brexit”

Agriculture to be a Focus of the Renewed Africa-EU Partnership

Summary
Supporting African agro-food sector development given its employment, food security and rural development effects is nominally a focus of the proposed renewed Africa-EU partnership. However differences of opinion over what constitutes an appropriate ‘regulatory and policy framework’ for African agro-food sector development, alongside unacknowledged tensions between EU agro-food sector export objectives and African agro-food sector development aspirations, could pose serious challenges for a renewed Africa-EU partnership in this area.  Read more “Agriculture to be a Focus of the Renewed Africa-EU Partnership”