NFU reaction to government’s ATQ sugar cane announcement

29 November 2023

NFU sugar board chair Michael Sly in sugar beet field

NFU sugar board chair Michael Sly

Following campaigning by the NFU, the government has announced that the ATQ (Autonomous Tariff Quota) on raw cane sugar will not be expanded for the remainder of the year. This is after a two-week consultation in September by the government to review whether an expansion of the quota might reduce sugar prices.

Responding to the news, NFU sugar board chair Michael Sly said: “While we are pleased that the government has listened to feedback from growers and taken the decision not to expand the ATQ, we remain opposed to the quota in its entirety.  

“British sugar beet growers are some of the most efficient in the world but allowing tariff-free access to sugar from any country – some of which is produced in ways which would be illegal here in the UK – simply undercuts our homegrown sector. This is at a time when growers are already facing immense pressure from the cumulative effects of the government’s broader trade policy and inflationary costs are continuing to spiral.

“We will continue to work with government to highlight the impact of the ATQ on British growers.”

More information

  • The government called a snap consultation on expanding the ATQ for raw cane sugar in September. Read more about it here.