The political and economic situation in the East European countries is rapidly changing and with it the conditions for beet and sugar production. Although generally enjoying good locations on fertile soils, white sugar yields are still at a low level, far below the maximum potential. The provisioning of the population with sugar has regressed. Barring few exceptions, the sugar factories were built before World War II and cannot compare with western factories in technical state and processing performance. The Commonwealth of independent States is racked by economic instability. High rates of inflation, little protection and barely affordable means of production severely hamper beet and sugar production. Privatization of enterprises is still proceeding very slowly. In Hungary, the Czech and Slovak republics as well as in Poland, privatization is further advanced. Western companies have already acquired stakes in sugar factories. A positive technical and organisational development has been initiated in these countries. In order to raise East European farming and sugar manufacturing to western levels, predictable political structures and a stable economic environment have to be created.
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