Last week, the National Farmers Union (NFU) convened its annual convention to set policy positions for the country’s second largest farm organization over the next 12 months. And part of that updated policy portfolio is continued support for America’s sugar farmers and the policy on which they depend.
According to NFU’s official policy guide:
- 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.
“NFU is a champion of sugar policy and sugar farmers, and America’s sugar producers are very appreciative of their continued support,” said Carolyn Cheney, chairwoman of the American Sugar Alliance.
NFU’s vote of continued support comes on the heels of a similar vote by the American Farm Bureau Federation in January. The Farm Bureau, which is the country’s biggest farm organization, approved a policy that reads, in part:
- We support 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… We support maintaining the inventory management provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill sugar program.
Cheney said the continued support is not surprising considering the success of the current sugar policy, which has supported 142,000 jobs and $20 billion in economic activity, maintained affordable prices, and remained the least expensive commodity policy in the Farm Bill.
Sugar policy cost taxpayers $0 from 2003 to 2012 and ran at no cost again in 2014. The USDA projects continued no-cost status from 2015 to 2025. The only year it carried a cost, 2013, was the direct result of Mexico dumping subsidized sugar onto the U.S. market.