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.