The history of sugar and trade with the UK are closely linked and have evolved over centuries so much so that, when the UK surrendered its trade policy to the EEC in 1974, it negotiated, as part of the Accession Treaty, a Sugar Protocol. This Protocol maintained and sustained, for a list of ACP countries, a traditional trade that had existed for many years.
The EU has continued to successively reform its Sugar Regime and eventually renounced the Sugar Protocol with effect from 2009 and granted duty-free and quota free access to a wider group of countries. Since 2009, the EU has continued to grant additional access under new Free Trade Agreements and will in October 2017 complete the reform of the sugar regime by removing domestic quotas and thus any restrictions on the amount of domestically produced sugar that can be sold in the EU.
The combination of higher EU sugar production, no restrictions on tonnages that can be marketed internally in the EU and the granting of increased access under FTA’s has limited the available market for ACP/LDC sugar industries in the EU and seriously affected its value .