The American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation’s largest agricultural trade group, is holding its annual convention this week where members will discuss policy priorities. The Farm Bureau has been a strong supporter of U.S. sugar policy over the years and was instrumental in beating back recent policy attacks by big candy companies that sought to outsource the country’s sugar production.
The Farm Bureau’s official sugar policy currently reads:
(1) A program to protect the interests of domestic sugar producers and recommend that any appropriate legislation should include a sugar title with provisions that ensure a strong and economically viable domestic sugar industry;
(2) Retention of the current loan rate as a minimum;
(3) Elimination of the marketing assessment fee(s) or loan forfeiture penalties;
(4) Increased research and development funding for bio-based energy and bio-based products utilizing sugar crops;
(5) USDA publishing monthly USDA-validated reports on Mexico sugar consumption, production, processing, exports, imports, and non-food use, similar to reports available in the United States;
(6) We support maintaining the inventory management provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill sugar program; and
(7) Domestic allocations should be distributed to sugar from domestically produced cane or beets to their respective sectors before increasing import allocations.
Of course, the Farm Bureau isn’t alone. The National Farmers Union, the nation’s second largest agricultural organization, has also been an outspoken supporter of U.S. sugar policy.
So has the National Council of Farm Cooperatives. And major farm lenders. And the Southwest Council of Agribusiness. And the Crop Insurance Professionals Association. And cotton, peanut, rice, sorghum, and peach producers. And many, many more.
Read more here.