The American Farm Bureau Federation recently completed its 2015 annual convention and with it the group’s 2015 policy positions. The nation’s largest farm organization continued its supportive stance of U.S. sugar policy.
The Farm Bureau’s position on sugar 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 economicallyviable 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.
We encourage both the U.S. and Mexico to continue discussions in developing a workable sugar program for Mexico.
Phillip Hayes with the American Sugar Alliance attended the annual convention and said, “Sugar farmers have a great friend in the Farm Bureau and we appreciate their continued support.”
Sugar boasts strong support from the nation’s second largest farm organization, too. The National Farmers Union, which will meet in March to finalize its 2015 policy positions, currently has the following stance on sugar policy:
We support the continuation of the no-cost U.S. sugar program and encourage Congress to work with U.S. sugar producers to adopt a strong sugar program in future farm bills. Today’s program has successfully provided consumers with stable, reliable supplies of sugar at reasonable prices, provided sugar producers with decent income and providedgood employment opportunities in rural communities.