Sweet smell of success?
News in this week is that sugar prices in the EU will remain low because of the abolition of production quotas, resulting in 19.5 million tonnes of sugar produced this year.
Analyst Informa’s Agribusiness Intelligence is also predicting a global surplus for 2018/19 of 7.2m tonnes.
But I’m guessing none of this should come as too much of a surprise, particularly as the industry has been reformulating like crazy in order to avoid the so-called sugar tax.
In fact, drinks manufacturers have been doing so well, the Treasury is going to be raking in nearly ￡300m less than expected.
The Soft Drinks Industry Levy came into force in April this year, and taxes manufacturers 18p per litre if the drink contains five grams of sugar per 100ml, and 24p per litre for more than eight grams of sugar.
However, the expected income is now predicted to be a mere ￡240m per year for the government, down from the ￡520m originally expected.
So while it’s not great news for government coffers, industry can give itself a huge pat on the back.
And then just sit back and wait for a public backlash over the increased use of sweeteners, which I fear will surely follow…