Lobbyists for candy makers are on Capitol Hill this week, and outsourcing U.S. sugar production to subsidized foreign producers is atop their legislative wish list.
They claim that the current sugar policy, which was included in the 2014 Farm Bill and operates without taxpayer cost, is causing financial hardship. The numbers, however, tell a much different story.
The American Sugar Alliance has been capturing positive news stories about the economic condition of the candy industry since the 2014 Farm Bill’s passage. And we just tallied the results from more than 80 pieces.
According to news coverage, candy manufacturers have invested more than $3.3 billion in expansion projects here in the United States and have added well over 4,000 jobs since the Farm Bill took hold – an accomplishment that wouldn’t have been possible without a reliable supply of homegrown sugar.
New candy factories and stores are springing up across America, from upstate New York to southern California and everywhere in between.
For example, Candy & Snack Today, the candy lobby’s own trade publication, recently had this to say – ironically while candy lobbyists were trying to convince policymakers that the sky was falling.
“A $70 million investment in Mars Chocolate North America’s U.S. supply chain demonstrates the candy giant’s long-standing commitment to American manufacturing and innovation, and shows just how important the confectionery category is to the U.S. economy. The company says the move will add an estimated 250 jobs to chocolate product manufacturing sites across the U.S.”
That wasn’t an isolated example either. Just a few days earlier the same industry publication reported, “Hickory Harvest Foods has added 17,000 square feet of manufacturing space to its Akron, OH facility.”
“Abdallah Candies invests $14m in new Minn. Facility.”
“The Mentos maker Perfetti van Melle USA will expand its manufacturing plant near Erlanger, Kentucky, with an $11m investment, adding 70 new full-time jobs to the state.”
In other words, we are witnessing the evolution of a competitive, profitable and expanding U.S. industry, not a struggling one – no matter what Big Candy’s lobby says.