The second phase of the main EU sugar reform finishes in October. As an independent, non-refining distributor of sugar in the UK, we welcome the reform.
It will improve access to new African sugars, which could bring some new types of raw cane sugar to the UK from non-EU countries. Previously, 18 former European colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific benefited from preferential terms, sending raw sugar at fixed prices to EU countries every year. There will now be more opportunities for new sugars on the market.
In terms of market trends, organic sugar has not been as strong in sales over the last year. It had been growing, but it has slightly declined.
Fairtrade is a bigger opportunity. Consumers are not sure of the relevance of organic in sugar, but Fairtrade makes sense. A number of African countries will gain Fairtrade status over the next couple of years, and availability will increase.
The market is fairly stable on sugar; in consumer terms, there has been an increase in home-baking and demand is up.
Prices have risen due to exchange rates over the last year. Sugar is priced in euros; the exchange rate was 79p last autumn and is 93p now - that’s a £70/tonne price rise on the exchange rate alone.