Sugar: America’s Sweetest Industry

America’s sugarbeet and sugarcane growers are gearing up for virtual meetings to share with congressional offices the importance of the no-cost sugar policy that keeps households and food manufacturers supplied with an essential food ingredient – made right here in America.

While these sugar growers will be sharing their perspective from the farm, the sugar industry plays an important role in strengthening America’s rural economy.

“Growing sugarcane keeps our community alive and viable. We put a lot of money into our local communities and our state economy,” said Gert Hawkins, a sugarcane grower in Louisiana.

Nate Hultgren and his family, sugarbeet growers in Minnesota.

Nate Hultgren, a sugarbeet grower in Minnesota and President of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, echoed, “My message to Congress would be to think about independent small businesses in our rural communities, not just farmers.

The American sugar industry:

  • Employs 142,000 hardworking men and women,
  • Contributes $20 billion annually to the U.S. economy,
  • Consists of sugar companies that are either farmer-owned cooperatives, employee-owned, or family-owned businesses, and
  • Supports good jobs in both urban and rural communities with $4.2 billion in annual wages and benefits.
Julie Serbus, a sugarbeet factory technician in Minnesota.

The sugar industry is vital to the communities where we all live and work. Beyond providing well-paying jobs, America’s sugar producers contribute to local charities and support educational opportunities, strengthening the social well-being of our neighborhoods.

“It’s incredible to see the impact that sugar has on our community. It also gives you a real sense of pride, seeing the crops we process become the sugar in your grocery cart,” said Julie Serbus, a sugarbeet factory technician in Minnesota.

The sugarbeet and sugarcane crops grown by our family farmers are processed into high-quality sugar, keeping the country supplied with an affordable and sustainably produced ingredient.

Coco Sonnier, a sugarcane engineer and chemist in Louisiana.

Much like our farmers, our sugar workers are a critical part of sugar’s story. Coco Sonnier is the 5th generation of her family working in the Louisiana sugar industry and she calls it “the sweetest industry the state has to offer.”

“Coming from a farming family and now working on the processing side at the mill, the sugar industry comes full circle. I understand the importance of growers and processors working together for one common goal – sugar,” Coco said.

We look forward to sharing more about our vibrant industry with Congress and appreciate the bipartisan support for a strong sugar policy that supports American farmers, American jobs and American communities.