The global sugar industry will scrutinise the text of an appeal verdict issued yesterday (28-4) by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), confirming an earlier decision that European Union’s (EU) existing sugar subsidies break WTO rules.

The European Commission has already accepted the decision – important, because it will on 22 June publish detailed reforms.

EU agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel has responded: “I will take account of this verdict when I finalise the reform proposals,” noting the ruling indicated the EU should have reduced subsidised sugar exports by 72% after the last WTO agreement in 1994, not the 21% it has cut: signalling a tough reform proposal.