From the International Sweetener Symposium:
Napa, Calif.—Large confectioners and sugar farmers don’t agree on much when it comes to sugar policy. But during a panel today at the 30th International Sweetener Symposium, leaders from both groups advocated for free markets where the most efficient businesses thrive.
“Our [candy makers] have to compete every single day; we don’t have a government program protecting us,” Larry Graham, the president of the National Confectioners Association (NCA), said in reference to sugar producers. Graham is critical of the current U.S. sugar policy.
“A free market in sugar is our top priority,” said Jack Roney with the American Sugar Alliance (ASA). “But unilateral disarmament is not the first step to a free market. We need to team up to target the subsidies that have made sugar the world’s most distorted commodity market.”
ASA has publicly endorsed a new “zero-for-zero” sugar policy introduced by Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) that would eliminate U.S. sugar policy in exchange for the elimination of foreign sugar subsidies.
“This is a true free market where the best businesspeople not the most subsidized win,” said Roney. “Unfortunately, the current sugar policy debate has been focused only on the United States and rewarding heavily subsidized foreign producers with more of the U.S. market by unilaterally weakening our policy without concessions from others.”
To date, the NCA and other large food manufacturers have not supported the Yoho bill and have instead lobbied to gut U.S. policy – a move Roney says will only reward the world’s most subsidized and exacerbate problems in the market.
“We hope they will reconsider and join the free-market fight by backing the Yoho bill,” Roney concluded. “We are among the most efficient sugar producers in the world; now let us prove it by getting the governments of Brazil, Mexico, Thailand and other exporters out of the way.”
For more information about the International Sweetener Symposium, visit www.sugaralliance.org
Symposium audio files can be downloaded at www.ASAradio.org