“America’s sugar farmers and workers are proud to provide our customers with more than 60 different types of affordable and sustainably produced American sugar,” said Jack Pettus, chairman of the American Sugar Alliance. “This analysis confirms what our industry has long known: the price stability provided by America’s no-cost sugar policy has no negative effect on the bottom line of sugar-using companies.”
The widespread use of foreign government support and subsidies have contributed to a wildly unpredictable global sugar market. As a result, sugar exports are being dumped by dozens of countries on the world market at prices that are half the cost of producing it world-wide and well below their own countries’ internal consumer prices.
This season might look vastly different for our farmers, our factories and our families. The challenges created by the pandemic may be new, but our dedication to preserving vibrant rural communities, farm families and small businesses has long been a tenet of the industry’s commitment to sustainability and will continue to drive our efforts to aid recovery. We’re all in this together and hope will persevere.
This week marks the 78-year anniversary of sugar rationing. During World War II, sugar was so critical, and in such short supply since the U.S. was heavily dependent on foreign suppliers, that it was the first item to be rationed and the last item to be removed from the rationing list two years after the war ended.
America’s sugar farmers and producers’ mission for sustainability fuels their drive to help our nation’s recovery. The industry is focused on providing safe and affordable food and preserving good jobs and the communities that have been built around sugar. Even when disaster – or a pandemic – strikes. Because if there is anyone who knows resiliency, it’s an American farmer.
Health care providers across the country are desperately in need of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks, to protect them as they are on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Sugar companies are donating extra masks and equipment to these first responders. Michigan Sugar Company uses PPE to keep sugar workers safe, and donated a portion of their company supply to local health systems, including hundreds of masks, safety glasses, and gloves.
With their friends and neighbors facing job loss and uncertainty due to COVID-19, U.S. Sugar provided 1,000 crates of green beans as well as fresh Florida orange juice to churches, healthcare providers, and food banks across South Florida. U.S. Sugar isn’t alone in its efforts to keep the community fed by donating truckloads of food.
When the farmers at U.S. Sugar saw that many of their neighbors in the community were facing food insecurity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they knew exactly what to do. In total, they donated more than 120,000 servings of green beans to those who needed it most.
Even as this pandemic unfolds, we must continue to eat, which means farmers continue to farm. In fact, the federal government declared that farmers and food manufacturers are an essential workforce and a critical part of the national response to COVID-19. Despite the many challenges they currently face, rural America and the nation’s farmers continue to work tirelessly to provide us all with a safe and affordable supply of food.
Dozens of America’s beet and cane sugar farmers are once again heading to Capitol Hill this week to meet with hundreds of lawmakers and share the importance of protecting America’s no-cost sugar policy.
America’s no-cost sugar policy supports well-paying jobs and provides economic opportunities for our communities. In fact, the sugar industry generates 142,000 jobs across the country and adds $20 billion to the U.S. economy.
Sugar farmers from across the country are headed to Capitol Hill today to defend America’s no-cost sugar policy, armed with brand-new data finding consumers believe American-made sugar to be affordable. Although consumers in other developed countries pay about the same as U.S. shoppers for sugar, critics of U.S. sugar policy continue to perpetuate the myth that supporting American farmers makes sugar too expensive, but their flawed messaging does not resonate with consumers.
Next week, sugar farmers from Florida to California will be trading in their coveralls and boots for ties and suits to meet with dozens of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. They will be sharing an important message with Congress: foreign sugar subsidies distort the global market and hinder sustainability.
American sugar farmers and workers are proud to share the love by producing an affordable supply of homegrown sugar. But it’s heartbreaking that America’s sugar farmers and workers will receive just a small share of those sales.
The American Sugar Alliance recently hit the road, traveling from farm to factory to see sustainable sugar production in action. Along the way, we met farmers who care passionately about being good stewards of the land and workers who utilize cutting-edge manufacturing technology to produce high-quality American sugar.
Deep in the heart of Texas, approximately 112 farmers grow sugar cane across 41,000 acres along the banks of the Rio Grande river. These farmers and their farmer-owned cooperative, Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers, are important members of the Rio Grande Valley community and a critical part of the Texan economy. Unfortunately, they are all that is left of the once-booming sugar industry in south Texas.