FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 19, 2011
CONTACT: Phillip Hayes
WASHINGTON—Executives and lobbyists from the country's candy companies will descend on Capitol Hill later this week to tell lawmakers a story of economic woe. But such a story isn't supported by government data or by the messages these same candy companies are sending Wall Street, according to an issue brief released today by the American Sugar Alliance (ASA).
"In a daily email to industry executives and others interested in the confectionery business, stories of production increases, new U.S. construction projects, and job growth have been commonplace," read the report. "Conversely, there hasn't been a single story about job flight overseas—certainly, not 'every week'—as [National Confectioners Association] has counseled its members to tell Congress."
ASA listed a sampling of the good news NCA has failed to share with lawmakers but has openly boasted to others about over the past two months.
Among the news items included in NCA's daily briefs to industry leaders are a new 350,000-square-foot candy plant in Kansas that will create 200 full-time jobs; huge increases in company sales and earnings; new employment opportunities in New York, North Carolina, and Ohio; and even the addition of a candy executive to this year's Forbes list of the richest people in the world.
ASA also pointed out: "Official Census data show that production of candy products (chocolate and other confections) grew 8.6% between 2004 and 2010 and 2.5% since the U.S. economic meltdown began in 2008."
"It reminds me of the classic Dickens line 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,'" ASA spokesman Phillip Hayes said of confectioners' mixed-up message. "In their tale of two cities, they tell New York investors and reporters about economic strength and growth, yet they poormouth to people on Capitol Hill."
The issue brief points to another messaging contradiction. During the 2008 Farm Bill debate, confectioners asked Congress to maintain a strong, healthy, and geographically diverse domestic sugar industry. The Farm Bill Congress passed, ASA noted, met that goal and has seen "fewer closures of sugar mills, refineries, and plants than at any time in the last four decades."
Now NCA is urging that this policy, which has run at no cost to taxpayers, be scrapped in favor of an import scheme. Such a policy shift, U.S. sugar producers contend, would put them out of business.
"Here's hoping the U.S. Congress continues to look positively towards the current no-cost sugar policy," the issue brief concluded.
For more information about U.S. sugar policy, visit