Sugar is a unique commodity. The unique nature of America’s sugar industry, the robust sugar supply chain and the flexibility of America’s no-cost sugar policy all proved to be a strategic assets when the COVID-19 pandemic introduced new challenges earlier this year.
Sugar farmers and workers pivoted quickly in order to keep America supplied with an essential ingredient. Grocery stores remained stocked and food manufacturing lines kept humming, knowing that they had reliable access to an affordable supply of sugar.
We created a brand-new video as part of our Sugar Shorts series to share what sets sugar apart.
11,000 family farmers from the Red River Valley to the Rio Grande Valley grow sugar crops. And they grow two completely different types of sugar crops – sugarbeets and sugarcane – which are then both refined into the same sugar.
Sugar workers make and package more than 60 different varieties of sugar, which come in a range of sizes from a teaspoon serving to railcars loaded with sugar. America’s sugar companies store this sugar all across the country in strategically located state-of-the-art facilities until food manufacturers and other customers need it.
Not to mention, the majority of those companies are farmer-owned cooperatives, which helps vertically integrate the supply chain from farm to grocery store shelf.
America’s sugar policy is unique, too. The world sugar market is grossly distorted by subsidies. But America’s no-cost sugar policy is built on loans repaid with interest – not subsidy checks – which ensures a secure supply of sugar at no cost to taxpayers.
Now that’s a sweet deal.
Interested in learning more about U.S. sugar policy? Check out the other videos in the Sugar Shorts series.
Get the Facts
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that sugar policy will cost $0 over the life of the current Farm Bill.