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Reducing sugary content does not cut consumption

Dubai: Policies by governments trying to cut the amount of sugary content in food and beverages is not significantly impacting global demand, sugar industry traders and brokers have said.

Most consumption growth is taking place in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, said Auke Vlas, Commercial Director at Sucres & Denrees. In comparison, efforts to cut surgery content, such as Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg bid to ban large sugary drinks, are more regularly discussed by policy makers in Europe and the United States.

Vlas was speaking at the 10th annual Dubai Sugar Conference.

Vlas acknowledged that the programmes out of the US and Europe would have some impact but disagrees it affects overall global consumption.

Over the last three seasons the sugar industry has produced 29 million metric tonnes of excess sugar. The 2013 to 2014 season, which starts in October and ends in September, is expected to produce a further 5 million metric tonne surplus.

“Its very difficult to measure because even in developing countries where you would expect per capita sugar consumption to go down, it is hardly noticeable,” said Jacques Gillaux Head of Sugar Platform, Louis Dreyfus Commodities.

Gillaux added that it was important to acknowledge that population growth adds to consumption despite any reduction of sugar content in food and beverages.