Newly confirmed U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai recently signaled strong support for America’s sugar producers and affirmed her commitment to America’s no-cost sugar policy, sending cheers throughout sugar country. In written comments submitted to the Senate Finance Committee following her confirmation hearing, Tai responded to inquiries from several senators asking how she would handle trade issues pertaining […]
About Phillip Hayes
Phillip Hayes is the Director of Media Relations for the American Sugar Alliance. He can be reached on cell at 202-271-5734 and on email at Phillip@sugaralliance.org.
Statement from the American Sugar Alliance on the confirmation of Ambassador Katherine Tai as the U.S. Trade Representative: “America’s sugar farmers and workers congratulate Ambassador Tai on her confirmation as the U.S. Trade Representative. We look forward to partnering with Ambassador Tai to advance our shared goals of worker-centered trade policies that acknowledge the importance of good-paying […]
America’s sugar policy is designed to cost taxpayers nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. That seems like a pretty sweet deal. But how exactly does U.S. sugar policy work? It’s simple: The U.S. is the 5th largest producer and 3rd largest importer in the world. Existing trade deals provide preferential access to 41 countries, with the U.S. importing as much […]
Statement from the American Sugar Alliance on the confirmation of Secretary Tom Vilsack as the Secretary of Agriculture: “America’s sugar farmers and workers extend their heartfelt congratulations to Secretary Tom Vilsack on his confirmation as the Secretary of Agriculture. Secretary Vilsack’s support for smart farm and trade policies will allow sugar producers to continue investing in sustainable farm practices, efficient sugar production […]
Growing up, fourth-generation farmer Makelle Pinsonat rode in the tractor alongside her parents in the sugarcane fields of Louisiana. Now, Makelle is raising her own family on the farm. “It’s in your blood. It’s in your heart,” Makelle says. “It’s a privilege to be able to say, ‘I’m a United States sugarcane farmer.’” Across the country, Montana […]
It’s safe to say that we’re all looking forward to leaving 2020 in the rearview mirror. Some of the world’s largest sugar subsidizers decided to close out this year the best way they know how – by creating even more uncertainty in an already tumultuous global sugar market. Troubles in India are contributing to wild swings in global sugar prices, demonstrating once again […]
WASHINGTON – Dr. Robert Johansson will bring more than 20 years of experience to the American Sugar Alliance (ASA) when he joins the association on January 31 as the Associate Director of Economics and Policy Analysis, ASA announced today. Johansson was most recently Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), where he advised […]
“The American Sugar Alliance welcomes President-elect Biden’s nomination of Katherine Tai to be the next U.S. Trade Representative. Ms. Tai has an impeccable reputation as a tough and effective negotiator, with a proven track record of advancing U.S. trade interests and countering unfair trade practices. With the global sugar market more distorted and dysfunctional than […]
“During Tom Vilsack’s previous tenure as Secretary of Agriculture, he was a trusted partner to America’s sugar farmers and workers and strengthened the farm and trade policies that support rural America. We look forward to once again working with Secretary Vilsack at the helm of the Department of Agriculture. Together, we will protect America’s no-cost […]
“America’s sugar farmers and workers extend their congratulations to Congressman David Scott for his election as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and Congressman Glenn “G.T.” Thompson for his election as the Ranking Member. We are confident that under their leadership, the House Agriculture Committee will continue its record of supporting America’s sugar producers and […]
Sugar is a unique commodity. The unique nature of America’s sugar industry, the robust sugar supply chain and the flexibility of America’s no-cost sugar policy all proved to be a strategic assets when the COVID-19 pandemic introduced new challenges earlier this year. Sugar farmers and workers pivoted quickly in order to keep America supplied with […]
“For thirty years, Congressman Collin Peterson has been a stalwart advocate for American agriculture. Thanks to his leadership at the helm of the House Committee on Agriculture, America’s farmers and ranchers have benefitted from smart farm policies that ensure our food supply remains abundant. Congressman Peterson’s extensive knowledge of the unique nature of the sugar […]
Over the past two years, we’ve been on a mission to document the many ways that the American sugar industry has been delivering on its decades-long commitment to producing sugar, sustainably.
It’s been a tough year for sugar farmers and factory workers in the Rio Grande Valley, as first the global health crisis and then the landfall of Hurricane Hanna created new challenges. The Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers are a critical part of these South Texas communities and we have faith that working together, they will continue to support each other during these unprecedented times.
Our friends over at Farm Policy Facts have released a new episode of their podcast Groundwork, featuring two sweet stories about how the sugar industry has stepped up during the pandemic.
“America’s sugar farmers and workers are proud to provide our customers with more than 60 different types of affordable and sustainably produced American sugar,” said Jack Pettus, chairman of the American Sugar Alliance. “This analysis confirms what our industry has long known: the price stability provided by America’s no-cost sugar policy has no negative effect on the bottom line of sugar-using companies.”
The widespread use of foreign government support and subsidies have contributed to a wildly unpredictable global sugar market. As a result, sugar exports are being dumped by dozens of countries on the world market at prices that are half the cost of producing it world-wide and well below their own countries’ internal consumer prices.
This season might look vastly different for our farmers, our factories and our families. The challenges created by the pandemic may be new, but our dedication to preserving vibrant rural communities, farm families and small businesses has long been a tenet of the industry’s commitment to sustainability and will continue to drive our efforts to aid recovery. We’re all in this together and hope will persevere.
This week marks the 78-year anniversary of sugar rationing. During World War II, sugar was so critical, and in such short supply since the U.S. was heavily dependent on foreign suppliers, that it was the first item to be rationed and the last item to be removed from the rationing list two years after the war ended.
America’s sugar farmers and producers’ mission for sustainability fuels their drive to help our nation’s recovery. The industry is focused on providing safe and affordable food and preserving good jobs and the communities that have been built around sugar. Even when disaster – or a pandemic – strikes. Because if there is anyone who knows resiliency, it’s an American farmer.
Health care providers across the country are desperately in need of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks, to protect them as they are on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Sugar companies are donating extra masks and equipment to these first responders. Michigan Sugar Company uses PPE to keep sugar workers safe, and donated a portion of their company supply to local health systems, including hundreds of masks, safety glasses, and gloves.
With their friends and neighbors facing job loss and uncertainty due to COVID-19, U.S. Sugar provided 1,000 crates of green beans as well as fresh Florida orange juice to churches, healthcare providers, and food banks across South Florida. U.S. Sugar isn’t alone in its efforts to keep the community fed by donating truckloads of food.
When the farmers at U.S. Sugar saw that many of their neighbors in the community were facing food insecurity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they knew exactly what to do. In total, they donated more than 120,000 servings of green beans to those who needed it most.
Even as this pandemic unfolds, we must continue to eat, which means farmers continue to farm. In fact, the federal government declared that farmers and food manufacturers are an essential workforce and a critical part of the national response to COVID-19. Despite the many challenges they currently face, rural America and the nation’s farmers continue to work tirelessly to provide us all with a safe and affordable supply of food.
Dozens of America’s beet and cane sugar farmers are once again heading to Capitol Hill this week to meet with hundreds of lawmakers and share the importance of protecting America’s no-cost sugar policy.
America’s no-cost sugar policy supports well-paying jobs and provides economic opportunities for our communities. In fact, the sugar industry generates 142,000 jobs across the country and adds $20 billion to the U.S. economy.
Sugar farmers from across the country are headed to Capitol Hill today to defend America’s no-cost sugar policy, armed with brand-new data finding consumers believe American-made sugar to be affordable. Although consumers in other developed countries pay about the same as U.S. shoppers for sugar, critics of U.S. sugar policy continue to perpetuate the myth that supporting American farmers makes sugar too expensive, but their flawed messaging does not resonate with consumers.
Next week, sugar farmers from Florida to California will be trading in their coveralls and boots for ties and suits to meet with dozens of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. They will be sharing an important message with Congress: foreign sugar subsidies distort the global market and hinder sustainability.
American sugar farmers and workers are proud to share the love by producing an affordable supply of homegrown sugar. But it’s heartbreaking that America’s sugar farmers and workers will receive just a small share of those sales.
The American Sugar Alliance recently hit the road, traveling from farm to factory to see sustainable sugar production in action. Along the way, we met farmers who care passionately about being good stewards of the land and workers who utilize cutting-edge manufacturing technology to produce high-quality American sugar.
Deep in the heart of Texas, approximately 112 farmers grow sugar cane across 41,000 acres along the banks of the Rio Grande river. These farmers and their farmer-owned cooperative, Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers, are important members of the Rio Grande Valley community and a critical part of the Texan economy. Unfortunately, they are all that is left of the once-booming sugar industry in south Texas.
Duane Grant never set out to be an agricultural pioneer. He just wanted to continue the family farm and make his dad proud. Grant grew up on his father Douglas’s farm in Southern Idaho and contributed from an early age, eventually joining the operation full-time after high school.
The American industry employs 142,000 people in 22 states in mostly rural communities. Direct annual wages and benefits for the industry add up to nearly $1.2 billion – a figure that increases to $4.2 billion when economy-wide impacts are included.
The sugarcane fields of south Florida are home to more than just high-quality sugar. The tall stalks provide a habitat to countless creatures that call the region home. Farmers in the area, by nature, love the environment and the animals it sustains. The soil, sun and rain in Florida bring to life the crops they raise. Protecting that environment is just as important to sugarcane farmers as the crop that flourishes in Florida.
Farmers of the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative have taken action to help stamp out the effects of phosphorus – a naturally-occurring nutrient that is essential for plant life. But, it can be bad for our waterways by causing algal blooms which results in depleted oxygen in the water, which in turn harms plants and wildlife and can disrupt the ecosystem.
Today the American Sugar Alliance launched SugarSustainably.org to highlight the commitments that our industry has made over the last several decades to preserve our natural resources, family farms and rural communities for future generations. “America’s sugar industry is proud to be on the front lines of securing a more resilient and efficient future for agriculture,” said Brian Baenig, chairman of the American Sugar Alliance.
Faced with the volatility of the world market, America’s no-cost sugar policy helps level the playing field for our farmers and secures a stable supply of high-quality sugar for food manufacturers and consumers. We will continue to call on Congress to seek the elimination of all foreign sugar subsidies by passing Congressman Yoho’s Zero-for-Zero legislation.
The chairman of the House subcommittee with jurisdiction over farm commodity programs said yesterday that the unique perspectives and bipartisanship of his panel help it function well for U.S. farmers and ranchers. “The demographic and geographic diversity inside the House Agriculture Committee make it special,” Congressman Filemon Vela (D-TX) said at yesterday’s International Sweetener Symposium.
After more than a decade of transition, Europe’s sugar policy reform is finally complete, and it is transferring $2.5 billion a year in wealth from farmers and EU taxpayers to food processors, with no discernible benefit to grocery shoppers.
Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC) predicted significant turnover during the 2020 congressional election, and he encouraged agriculture to use the opportunity to work together to educate new lawmakers about the industry’s importance to America’s future.
America’s farmers and ranchers were blessed during the last Farm Bill debate to be represented by Congressional leaders who worked well together and were determined to pass a farm bill on time and get it signed into law. Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Reps. Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Mike Conaway (R-TX) were emblematic of how much Congress can achieve when people come together for a common cause.
Hudson, who co-chairs the Agriculture and Rural America Task Force, said America’s sugar industry supports thousands of U.S. farmers, thousands of U.S. workers, and billions in goods and services to the U.S. economy. So, supporting a strong U.S. sugar policy was an easy decision for him in the last Farm Bill.
The average rate of return for U.S. farmers is 1.3 percent this year, marking the fifth straight year of returns below 2 percent, Dr. John Newton, the chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), said today at the International Sweetener Symposium.
Congressman Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (PA), the second highest ranking Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, kicked off the 2019 International Sweetener Symposium this morning by telling sugar producers that his vision for the Committee’s future is to “achieve a robust rural economy.”
The world sugar market, which has been battered by low prices, may soon get a reprieve, according to the head of the International Sugar Organization. Jose Orive, the group’s executive director, addressed the International Sweetener Symposium today and said, “World sugar prices have hit bottom, and signs are pointing to a recovery.”
India has a massive sugar problem. It will have 17-million-metric-tons more sugar than what it consumes this year, according to a recent USDA report. USDA notes the 17 million tons is more than double India’s minimum annual stock requirements. And India’s sugar mills are finding it difficult to sell this surplus sugar at a profit.
This week marks 13 years since the EU first began tearing down its sugar program after the World Trade Organization found it to be in violation of its international trade commitments. Since that time, Europe’s sugar industry has faced an uncertain future – 83 sugar mills closed and 120,000 jobs were lost – and subsidies remain prevalent as prices plummet below the cost of production.
India’s latest export subsidy scheme blatantly flouts international trade rules, and it’s been receiving lots of attention lately. Australia, Brazil, and Guatemala have all recently initiated formal proceedings against India under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism. Leaders from Alvean, the world’s biggest sugar trader, singled out Indian subsidies for suppressing global prices. And […]
The U.S. sugar industry has publicly endorsed a concept introduced by Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL), known as the Zero-for-Zero sugar policy, which would end America’s no-cost policy in exchange for other countries eliminating their trade-distorting programs and letting a true free market form.
Farm Policy Facts debuted a new podcast called Groundwork yesterday, and two sugar farmers were the first guests on the show. John Snyder, of Wyoming, and Travis Medine, of Louisiana, discussed the importance of sugar farming in rural communities with Groundwork host Tom Sell.
As 2018 came to a close, the USDA published a report about the global sugar market. It noted that the world’s dominant sugar producer (and subsidizer) Brazil was decreasing production because of “unfavorable weather and more sugarcane being diverted towards ethanol,” where prices are stronger.
Today might be April Fool’s Day, but it’s no joke that federal sugar policy once again cost taxpayers $0 last year. Even better, the USDA predicts sugar policy will continue to operate at zero cost for the next 10 years. That means that federal sugar policy cost taxpayers absolutely nothing in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Protecting a no-cost program that ensures a sustainable supply of sugar and supports 142,000 American jobs is a no-brainer. Thank you to the sugar farmers who recently made their voices heard by taking to the halls of Congress and educating lawmakers about the importance of U.S. sugar policy.
Fifty-seven sugar factories have closed since the 1980s due to low prices, contributing to the loss of 100,000 sugar jobs. In fact, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics stopped tracking “sugar manufacturing” as a job category in 2008 due to the industry’s shrinking size. Thankfully, there are still 142,000 hardworking men and women employed by sugar across 22 states.
For most of the farmers, it’s their first trip back to the Capitol since the Farm Bill was approved, and given the bill’s overwhelming support, there will be many members to thank. There will also be a lot of new members to educate about the importance of maintaining the no-cost sugar policy in the face of a struggling rural economy.
From record product launches to multimillion-dollar expansions, what a sweet year it was for candy manufacturers. As consumers’ demand for candy products continues to surge, America’s confectioners are gladly taking advantage of this growing market. And America’s 142,000 sugar farmers and workers are thankful to be a part of their success story.
The global sugar market remains in turmoil, plagued for years by a subsidy-fueled oversupply. And as foreign sugar businesses struggle to stay afloat, governments around the globe are taking action. Unfortunately for the market, the action being taken by most governments is to increase subsidies, which further depresses prices. Last week saw two governments – both big and small – intervene.
Sugar is widely considered the world’s most distorted commodity market. Global sugar prices have fluctuated more than 200 percent since 2008 alone and often fall well below the cost of producing sugar. Why? Because of the actions of a few government-dependent producers….
Members of the American Sugar Alliance (ASA) praised Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) for taking decisive action against foreign sugar subsidies with today’s reintroduction of the Zero-for-Zero sugar policy.
Brian Grunenfelder will work alongside veteran ASA Trade Adviser Don Phillips in helping analyze the complex global trade issues that impact U.S. sugar farmers and shape America’s no-cost sugar policy.
The American Sugar Alliance sent a letter to leaders of the House Agriculture Committee yesterday, thanking the panel’s members for supporting sugar policy and asking for support in defeating possible Farm Bill amendments.
Union workers joined farmers on Capitol Hill this week to help spread the message, “Don’t cut my family out of the Farm Bill.”