America’s Sugar Industry Launches

America’s sugar farmers and workers are global leaders in sustainable production, providing consumers with high-quality sugar produced under some of the world’s strictest safety, labor and environmental standards.

And it’s all possible thanks to America’s no-cost sugar policy.

Today the American Sugar Alliance launched 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.

Sustainable sugar production is rooted in our pledge to prioritize people, protect the planet, produce superior products, and promote fair-price policies. shares stories from across the country about the ways that our industry has fulfilled these commitments.

The American sugar industry prioritizes people by investing in our local communities, supporting multi-generational family farms, creating 142,000 well-paying jobs and providing development opportunities for our diverse workforce.

We are continually advancing industry efforts to protect the planet, including action to reduce greenhouse gasses, sequester carbon and improve water and soil quality. Investments in research and technology have enabled sugar producers to produce 12% more sugar on 16% less land than 20 years ago while reducing carbon emissions and minimizing the use of fertilizer and pesticides.

And we produce superior products for our customers utilizing all parts of the crop to reduce waste and create beneficial co-products. From livestock feed to road deicers, eco-friendly kitchenware, fuel and electricity generation, sugar co-products touch the lives of countless consumers.

Lastly, the sugar industry promotes fair-price policies in order to provide consumers with affordable sugar, help farmers mitigate risks and encourage subsidy-free markets that improve the quality of life for farmers around the globe. features a wide range of initiatives from throughout the beet and cane sugar industries, from the innovative use of technology to leading environmental programs.

These success stories stand in stark contrast to the negative impact of a heavily subsidized world market that rewards poor environmental practices. Unfortunately, farm policy critics would like to end our no-cost sugar policy, outsourcing U.S. sugar production to this unpredictable and unsustainable global sugar market.

It’s clear that a sustainable future is one that builds upon the work already accomplished by the U.S. sugar industry to protect our environment while giving our farmers, workers and communities the opportunity to flourish.

Stay tuned for more stories about how America’s sugar producers are taking action to produce sugar sustainably.

Indian Sugar Subsidies Sink Global Prices

The Wall Street Journal recently published a must-read article clearly articulating how foreign-government intervention drives wild price fluctuations in the international sugar market. The article rightfully identifies India as one of the most egregious offenders, helping “push prices toward their lowest level in a decade”:

The drop extends a two-year stretch in which depressed prices have squeezed profits at sugar refineries, hurt farmers whose livelihoods depend on the crop and led to tensions between nations that are major producers. A big part of the decline stems from India, which overtook Brazil as the world’s biggest grower of sugar in the 2018-19 season, producing 33.1 million tons.

Generous past subsidies, estimated to have valued about $1.7 billion per year, have fueled a sugar surplus that the government is now seeking to offload onto the world dump market. The Wall Street Journal continues:

Bumper harvests have swelled India’s sugar stockpiles to around 17.6 million tons, according to the USDA. The prospect of these being sold on international markets has weighed on global prices for much of the year.

Many participants in the sugar market expect the Indian government to renew an export subsidy program for refineries in the coming weeks, albeit with some tweaks. The policy, introduced last year, contributed to a 52% rise in exports and has drawn ire from rival producers. The World Trade Organization is investigating complaints by Australia, Brazil and Guatemala that the subsidies are illegal.

Just days later, India’s government decided to renew its export subsidy program, announcing it will dole out nearly $880 million in subsidies to incentivize the export of 6 million tonnes of sugar in the 2019/20 marketing year which begins on October 1. Sugar mills will receive an export subsidy of 10,448 rupees – or nearly $145 – per tonne of sugar.

International reaction was swift as Brazil and Australia condemned the latest round of subsidies, with one industry leader in Australia branding India’s decision “a massive market distortion.”  Bloomberg stated that the “subsidies are just another blow to the market that’s already suffering from oversupply.”

Amazingly, it appears that the Indian sugar industry wanted even more government assistance. An anonymous sugar miller expressed their disappointment to Reuters, saying, “We were expecting more than 12,000 rupees [$167] per tonne subsidy considering the drop in global prices.”

A drop in global prices driven in large part by India’s ever-expanding portfolio of government subsidies.

Due to government intervention, the economics of the world market are almost completely divorced from normal market signals and prices have fallen well below the cost of production. It’s increasingly clear that this is an unsustainable trend.

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.

But America’s sugar industry is proud to be among the most efficient producers in the world and would like to compete in a free market. That is why 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. Dismantling all market-distorting subsidy programs will be the only way to truly establish a free and fair market for sugar.

Until then, we will continue to shine a spotlight on the foreign subsidies destroying the global market.