b'HOW IS SUGAR PRODUCED FROM BEET?Source: www.eufic.orgNEW BREEDING TECHNIQUES networks to the agri-bashing flourishing in our society against The issue of new breeding techniques is crucial. To deal withall reason.it more effectively, we have decided to create an AgricultureAs I said before, the system of sugar quotas has disappeared, & Progress Platform whose founding members are Europeanand this disappearance is irreversible. The absence of quotas maize producers and European beet growers. The mission ofexposes sugar to global competition. But it is not a fair fight, and this platform is to expand, in particular to cereals, oilseed, wine,professionals in the sugar beet industry are competing with a ball fruits and vegetables, potatoes, and morebecause our prob- and chain around their feet. First, they are faced with increasing lems are mutual. The platforms objective is to re-establish aimports due to free trade agreements signed by the European balance between the precautionary and innovation principles.Union with several countries, in particular with countries that Right now, the relationship between the two is completely unbal- are least advanced. Second, our competitors benefit from rules anced. But an agriculture that does not evolve technologically isunequalled in Europe: they can use GMOs and plant protection an agriculture that goes backwards and gives up its internationalproducts prohibited here. ambitions.As a product, sugar is vital and by nature international. The European sector has in the past demonstrated its capacity A DISTORTED VIEW OF AGRICULTURE for adaptation, innovation and investment. But to be fully com-The other goal of the platform is to ensure a collective and struc- petitive we must fight, if not with equal weapons (which seems tured response to the action of certain NGOs who hold a distortedunrealistic), then at least with those weapons that are not wholly view of agriculturea romantic, urbanite view, one could say.unfavourable.Faced with approximations, excesses, caricatures and fake news, we must bring a reliable and credible response. We also need toEditors Note: Marie-Christine Ribera is Director General of equip ourselves with the means to respond via media and socialthe European Association of Sugar Manufacturers (CEFS).EUROPEAN-SEED.COMIEUROPEAN SEED I 11'