The European Parliament has voted to keep EU sugar quotas in place until October 2020 in a move that has drawn criticism from food industry representatives.

In a vote on Common Agricultural Policy yesterday (13 March), MEPs voted to extend the current quota regime, which was due to end in 2015, for another five years.

Responding to the news the European Sugar Users association (CIUS) said MEPs had sent the “wrong message” to the industry, undermining the prospects for a balanced European sugar market and more competitive European food industry.

CIUS insisted the maintenance of the sugar quota in Europe would undermine the food industry’s growth and job creation prospects.

“We are very disappointed,” said Robert Guichard, president of the CIUS. “We need a balanced, stable and fair EU sugar market, based on competitive, sustainable domestic production, supplemented by imports to the extent needed.”