CAOBISCO, the European association of chocolate, biscuits and confectionery industries, has called for major reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and the EU sugar regime. The demands came at the body's general assembly in Dresden last week.
CAOBISCO argues that urgent progress is now needed on both these issues. As major users of EU agricultural raw materials, CAOBISCO companies have to pay prices well in excess of world prices - sugar for example costs over three times the average global price. This, the association believes, has serious price implications for EU consumers and is a major handicap for exports.
Senior representatives of the confectionery industry also reviewed their preparations for developing the membership of CAOBISCO to involve the new accession countries to the EU.
President of CAOBISCO, Dr Dietmar Kendziur, said: "The chocolate, biscuits and confectionery industries of Europe represent a vibrant and innovative industry and are major contributors to the economic well-being of the EU. As an industry we have always faced up to our responsibilities to offer safe, quality products to the most important client that we have; our consumers.
"It is also the responsibility of all decision makers in Europe, and globally to respect and recognise the key role that our businesses play in communities right across Europe."