Carolyn Cheney was a pillar in the world of agricultural policy – a testament to doing things the right way and building relationships that stand the test of time. Today, her colleagues, friends, and family laid Carolyn to rest and celebrated a cherished life and career.
All four members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees’ leadership took time to address the annual meeting of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association in D.C. – a testament to the importance of the sugar industry to our nation’s agricultural economy.
ASA released an infographic noting that sugar producers see just 2 cents from a $7.99 heart-shaped box of chocolates.
In candy-coated Washington-speak, the terms “modernize” and “reform” are synonymous with “weaken” and “eliminate.”
Sugarbeet farmers in Montana ended January on a high note with the publication of three op-eds from key leaders in the Sidney Herald this week.
When sugarbeet grower Kendall Busch learned of a scathing attack on his U.S. Senator for supporting an industry that has meant generations of reliable, good-paying, jobs in Nebraska, he was pretty upset.
Two weeks after President Trump made a bold promise to farmers to produce an on-time Farm Bill, his Department of Agriculture (USDA) took the next step and introduced a list of legislative principles to guide the upcoming debate.
Sugar producers’ biggest concerns heading into 2018 revolve around the Farm Bill and trade – specifically keeping America’s no-cost sugar policy strong.
While most folks were spending the holidays with friends and family and ringing in the New Year with confetti, foreign nations were busy doubling down on sugar subsidies.
ASA releases final installment in four-part “Sugar Shorts” video series that explains how U.S. sugar policy works.
Sugar has been called the world’s most distorted market. Our third “Sugar Shorts” video explains why.
How has the price of sugar remained so low for so long? The second video in the “Sugar Shorts” series explores the answer.
Amendments designed to gut no-cost U.S. sugar policy were rejected during the 2014 Farm Bill debate, but their backers are dusting them off for another run.
As the holiday season kicks off, Americans will be reaching for a staple in their pantries. From pumpkin pie to cookies for Santa, U.S. households have relied on domestic sugar supplies for generations.
This Halloween will be full of the same old stale rhetoric from well-heeled multinational companies that want to outsource America’s sugar production.
U.S. sugar policy is spelled out in the Farm Bill. Congress has started debate on the 2018 bill and will continue to discuss it into next year.
Farm Policy Facts, a coalition of farm organizations including ASA, spoke with sugar farmers and, today, kicks off a three-part sugar harvest series.
Attacking individual legislators is never a smart political move since the critics are lobbying those lawmakers to outsource some of our food production.
Galen Lee, President of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, discusses the non-recourse loans found in the Farm Bill in a recent Agri-Pulse piece.
Sugarcane growers across the South stepped up to help their friends and neighbors after hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
Outsourcing U.S. sugar production to subsidized foreign producers is atop Big Candy’s legislative wish list.
It boggles the mind that one of the few — if not only — government programs designed to operate at no cost continues to come under attack.
Our farmers suffer when foreign countries dump heavily subsidized surplus sugar on the world market to protect their own interests, according to Jack Roney.
Sugar producers took the time to address lawmakers during a recent Farm Bill listening session in Minnesota.
Ervin Schlemmer called on Congress to maintain U.S. sugar policy and to make research funding a priority in the news Farm Bill.
India’s latest action adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the need for stopping subsidized and dumped sugar worldwide.
With so much attention on Mexico, chances are good you lost track of all the other foreign subsidy developments around the globe. ASA didn’t.
Both letters, penned by American Sugar Alliance Chairman Jack Pettus, are included.
America’s sugar farmers and producers today informed the Department of Commerce (DOC) that they support the agreement to bring Mexico’s subsidized sugar industry into compliance with U.S. trade laws. The pledge was made after DOC tightened the agreement.
The debate over whether Mexico’s subsidized sugar industry will be held accountable for violating U.S. trade laws has been getting a lot of press coverage lately.
In 2015, the U.S. government found Mexico guilty of both dumping and subsidization. Yet Mexico is still dumping.
When does aloha mean goodbye? After Mexico broke U.S. trade laws and ran Hawaii’s century-old sugar industry into the ground.
“This is a law enforcement issue. The U.S. government ruled that Mexico broke U.S. trade law and must be held accountable.”
There are dozens of foreign producers who responsibly and fairly supplied the U.S. market for the decades before Mexico began gaming the system.
Hopefully this week’s talks will move in the right direction and towards suspension agreements that finally stop the injury caused by Mexico.
Mrs. J.A. Tiedt sat down at a table across from a high school teacher in Culver, Indiana, 75 years ago this month and became the first person in her town to receive a book of sugar ration stamps.
It was May 1942 and World War II was raging across Europe. Sugar was the first food staple rationed by the U.S. government during the war.
“We urge you to continue your strong efforts to utilize the United States’ antidumping and countervailing laws in response to the serious injury Mexico caused to U.S. sugar producers.”
DOC Announces Action to Stop Mexican Dumping of Subsidized Sugar with Duties, Unless a Deal Can Be Reached
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) yesterday announced that it would end the antidumping and countervailing duty suspension agreements in place with Mexico and impose duties on Mexican sugar beginning June 5, unless the two countries can reach an accord before then to stop Mexico’s unfair trading practices.
Josh Buettner’s piece for the Market to Market segment spotlighted Alexander & Baldwin’s decision in December to shutter the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company operation on Maui as an example of how the U.S. sugar industry is struggling in a world market that is manipulated by foreign governments.
If sugar is not profitable, farmers lose more than our farms. We lose our businesses, our investments, and our local economies.
ASA’s Jack Roney testified before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management that a strong sugar policy is essential in the current low-price environment.
Haribo’s expansion in America is great news for the U.S. economy and for U.S. beet and cane producers.
Legislation targeting job-killing foreign sugar subsidies is back before Congress with the reintroduction of the Zero-for-Zero sugar policy by Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL).
The president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association and a fifth-generation Louisiana sugarcane farmer spoke today at Agri-Pulse’s Farm Bill Summit.
Former U.S. Rep. Eligio “Kika” de la Garza II (D-TX), a longtime House Agricultural Committee chairman who became the first Mexican-American to represent the Rio Grande Valley in Congress, died this week.
In the interest of shining a light on global subsidies and pushing for a Zero-for-Zero sugar policy, we’ve decided to share our running list with the world.
More than 23,000 of the 123,000 jobs lost in that analysis come from soft drink (HFCS, not sugar) and ice manufacturing. And there’s no sugar in ice.
When it comes to sugar production, Brazil is the big, bad bully on the block. using at least $2.5 billion a year in subsidies and other government goodies.
September 30 marked the end of the 2016 fiscal year, and with it, yet another 12-month period that U.S. sugar policy operated at no cost to taxpayers.
As Mexico dumped subsidized sugar onto the U.S. market in recent years and sent sugar prices spiraling downward, consumers paid more for sweetened products and food manufacturers’ revenues grew.
In Hawaii, like other places, sugar was attractive because it could be grown and shipped as nearly a finished product. That kind of crop is hard to replace.
As sugar production in America changed and became more mechanized, the skills of Hawaii’s labor population had to change, too.
The first laborers were men who came for 2-year stints. Then families started arriving.
December 12 marked the last sugar harvest in Maui and a sad day in the U.S. sugar industry. After more than a century, Hawaii will no longer produce sugar.
We asked a former journalist who was brand new to sugar policy to research it and write a brief explanation for new Hill staff or Administration officials.
With leaders like this, who are dedicated to putting U.S. interests first and defending jobs in rural America, things are looking brighter.
A United Nations report on human rights abuses in countries that grow sugarcane suggests sugar is produced in some countries no matter the human cost.
Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) took to the pages of Townhall.com today to discuss America’s future trade agenda and how his “Zero-for-Zero” sugar policy proposal would help by “holding cheaters accountable.”
Unfortunately, agriculture has been subjected to fake news for years. When we encounter “Fake Farm News,” we try to set the record straight.
We have a problem with a Chicago-based think tank, the Illinois Policy Institute, carelessly using half-truths to make its case.
Between the presidential election and the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s understandable if you missed a lot of farm-related news. So, ASA flagged a couple of recent articles that we found particularly interesting.
Ask most people to define a leader’s most important quality using just one word, and you’ll hear the word “inspirational” time and time again. No adjective better defines George Wedgworth, 88, a legend of the U.S. sugar industry who passed away earlier this week.
We are bound and determined to do our part to hold fast to what remains and fight for the strong farm policies that make homegrown food possible.
In case you missed it, there’s something far more terrifying than ancient mummies rising in Egypt this Halloween. They’ve run out of sugar and, believe it or not, it’s leading to civil unrest.
The real “sweetest day” produces record profits for the Candy industry.
America’s sugar producers may be fierce competitors in the marketplace, but they regularly join forces on important issues like defending no-cost sugar policy and promoting a global market that is free of foreign subsidies.
Big Candy has said very little publicly about their Farm Bill subsidies, far too busy complaining about a no-cost sugar policy.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, recently released a report demanding the elimination of farm policy, including crop insurance and the safety nets for producers of corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, rice, dairy, sorghum, sugar, and other crops.
Summer is waning and year’s end will be here in a blink of an eye. And with it, the end of an era for America’s sugar industry, as the last sugar production facility in Hawaii officially closes.
Big Candy, which boasted about being “recession proof” between 2008 and 2010, is apparently “deflation proof” in 2016.
In case you haven’t noticed, your grocery bill should be getting smaller this year. It’s been a big money saver for some, and the “epic fall in food prices” even garnered front-page attention in the Wall Street Journal last week.
In an abrupt about-face, Brazil’s Minister of Agriculture Blairo Maggi recently condemned the kind of Brazilian subsidization that has, for decades, wrecked the world’s sugar market.
“Subsidy attracts incompetence in some areas, and doesn’t allow the sectors to succeed through competitiveness,” he was recently quoted as saying in an Aug. 25 article that appeared in SugarOnline.com.
Last week, the candy industry’s lobbying arm sent an email to select Hill offices informing lawmakers that not every state had sugar-related jobs.
Duh. That’s pretty obvious. Sugar can’t be grown in every state because of climate and soil conditions.
Each month, the USDA posts updated sugar pricing information on a website it has dryly titled “Sugar and Sweeteners Yearbook Tables.” The site itself is a bit of a labyrinth, with more than 60 tables tracking production, price, and consumption data. But if you know where to look, the site can be a wealth of information.
India’s government sets high sugar prices for its farmers, subsidizes mills to pay farmers the inflated prices, blocks competing imports, offsets farm input costs with subsidies, extends no-interest loans to cane millers, forgives many of those no-interest loans, and subsidizes exports to give its sugar producers a leg up on the world market. If you…
Talk about wanting to have your cake and eat it too.
The month of June saw the National Confectioners Association (Big Candy) and its members brag to lawmakers about the growing economic might of its industry while simultaneously trying to convince Congress that no-cost U.S. sugar policy was leading to economic hardship.
Later this week, the CATO Institute – a perennial critic of no-cost U.S. sugar policy – will host an event to applaud India’s economic reforms of the past 25 years. The event’s online flyer touts India’s “miracle economy,” which was realized after it “abandoned its traditional socialist policies and embraced economic liberalization and globalization.” Perhaps…
During debate of the 2014 Farm Bill, many ag leaders reminded farm policy detractors that farm bills were written for the bad times not the good.
Back then, commodity prices were strong, farm incomes were up, farmland values were at all-time highs, and the global demand outlook was bright. Even though farm policy was operating well under budget because of a resilient rural economy, critics didn’t understand the need for a safety net and even championed gutting farm supports, including no-cost sugar policy.
Ahhh…spring is in the air. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, blooms are blooming, farmers are planting, and the USDA is busy releasing attaché reports.
Ok, that last one isn’t exactly a springtime staple, but it does occur like clockwork every April, and these reports often go unnoticed despite their importance.
The price that U.S. grocery stores pay for sugar peaked in 2010 after shortages hit the global market and needed imports were difficult to attract. As a result, grocery stores charged shoppers more for bagged sugar at the checkout line in order to maintain their profit margins.
But market conditions quickly changed. Foreign exporters increased production with the aid of subsidies, turning shortages into surpluses, and prices on the world and U.S. sugar markets fell rapidly. However, the price that shoppers pay didn’t follow suit. Instead, it continued to climb.
New Texas A&M Study Details Importance of Current No-Cost Policy FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2016 CONTACT: Phillip Hayes, 202-507-8303 WASHINGTON – Current legislative proposals to change U.S. sugar policy may be positioned as modest reform, but they would have dire economic consequences on U.S. sugar producers, put U.S. taxpayers on the hook, and leave…
Back in 2007, raw sugar prices on the world market averaged just shy of 10 cents per pound.
To put that figure into perspective, the global average cost of producing a pound of raw sugar was more than 17 cents.
Yes, the price was low and producers were losing money on every pound of sugar sold. But amazingly, it was up more than 10% from the 8.8 cents per pound it averaged the decade before.
It’s rare that a general business reporter with a national publication writes about the intricacies of the domestic sugar market. It’s even rarer that the resulting report is 100% spot on.
That happened this week at the Huffington Post. And instead of adding any of our own commentary, we’ll just repost their write up.
For Immediate Release: April 18, 2016
Contact: Phillip Hayes, 202-507-8303
WASHINGTON – Since the current U.S. sugar policy took hold in 2008, candy companies and producers of other sugar containing products (SCP) have added jobs, increased production, and boosted profitability, according to a new study by the dean of the University of Maryland’s business school.
Dr. Alex Triantis, who prepared the report for the American Sugar Alliance (ASA), wrote: “During 2009-2014 – a period that included a U.S. economic recession and unusually high world and U.S. sugar prices – SCP industry jobs rose by 3 percent while non-sweetened-food industry jobs were flat.”
With so much going on in the world this week, chances are good that you missed a handful of important – albeit not-so-widely-read – sugar stories. So, we’ve flagged them for you and offered a little context.
The volatile world sugar market reminded us once again why it cannot be trusted to provide stable supplies. As Reuters noted in an April 1 article:
Jamaica is pretty good at growing sugar. They’ve been doing it since the 1600s, and sugar has largely fueled Jamaica’s economy ever since.
But that proud history could be coming to a bitter end, wrecked by global prices that have been grossly depressed by subsidies. Here’s how Jamaica’s sad sugar story has unfolded.
During a recent hearing to examine the health of the rural economy, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) noted that farm income has plummeted 56 percent since 2013. That, he said, represented the worst stretch since the depression of the ’30s. “In short, we have a very serious problem unfolding right now in rural…
Sugar subsidies are spinning out of control on the global stage and one country, ironically, has had enough. Mega-subsidizer Brazil said last week that it was filing an international trade case against Thailand for manipulating the world market with trade-distorting policies.
According to a Reuters article on the case:
It may be as nasty as ever out on the campaign trail, but here in Washington, things have been a little sweeter lately. That’s because dozens of sugarbeet and sugarcane farmers from across the country came calling on Congress last week. And dozens more will be in town this week to continue those meetings.
Though few outside of the Beltway pay much attention to the President’s budget every year, it is a noteworthy event inside Washington, DC.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, a couple of sugar policy critics penned a hateful article for the Wall Street Journal that spewed the same old erroneous talking points that have been used by Big Candy lobbyists and disproven for nearly three decades.
“It will not be doubted that with reference either to individual or national welfare, agriculture is of primary importance…” George Washington said that.
Similar quotes by great leaders have been sprinkled throughout the history of our proud nation ever since, and their words make clear just how important farmers and ranchers are to America’s economy, security, and way of life.
The Congressional Budget Office is charged with providing Congress budget estimates for all government policies. Sugar policy is no different, and critics often like to point to these estimates – especially in the out years – as a way to criticize sugar farmers’ safety net.
It might be a new year, but it’s the same old story.
Big Candy is complaining about no-cost sugar policy causing them financial hardship while they are simultaneously (albeit quietly) celebrating financial success. Consider these headlines from just the past couple of weeks:
U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) had some harsh words for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) when he delivered the Republican Party’s weekly address on Jan. 9.
“Make no mistake, we are locked in a global battle to determine who will produce oil and gas in the world in the future,” he said. “Will it be OPEC? Russia? Countries like Venezuela? Or will it be us, the United States?”
‘Twas two weeks before Christmas, and in the U.S. House; Sugar policy critics were still busy running off at the mouth. Spreading lies about sugar price was their preferred tact; A not-so-jolly, bearded Norquist even got in on the act. They claimed Americans get burned as domestic prices soar; Ignoring the fact that the rest…
In an amazing twist, some of the world’s biggest sugar subsidizers signaled a desire to start a conversation about rolling back global subsidies to help make the market freer and fairer.
Sounds promising, except for the fact that a couple of vocal U.S. politicians were simultaneously signaling their desire to simply end U.S. sugar policy and reward subsidizers with more U.S. market share, thus foregoing any chance of worldwide reform.
The President of the United States is in Europe discussing a global climate accord, which will hold economic and political ramifications for generations to come. Foreign allies are debating enhanced military involvement in the war on terror. Violence has gripped many U.S. cities. Racial tensions are flaring. A leading measure of U.S. manufacturing just fell to its lowest level since the recession, and overall business investment is slumping, dragging down the economy.
And at least two DC figures – Republican Congressman Joe Pitts and Grover Norquist – are screaming at the tops of their lungs this week that Congress must drop everything and focus on one key issue immediately: U.S. sugar policy.