Ever since debate over the most recent Farm Bill began, large food manufacturers have been crying poor. It’s been the same old story since the debate began around 2011, and it continues even today as these companies lobby to reopen the recently passed Farm Bill.
Sugar policy, these critics say, is causing them financial pain, and the only way to rectify the situation is to outsource U.S. sugar production and let heavily-subsidized foreign producers flood the market with cheap sugar.
But do the numbers back up food conglomerates’ poor-mouthing?
Not according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which shows job growth in the confectionery sector. Not according to a study by the head of the University of Maryland’s business school, who looked into the issue and saw a healthy sugar-using sector. Not according to scores of news articles announcing Big Candy expansions.
And not according to food manufacturers’ own data.
Examining the financial filings of just four publicly traded food companies shows steady growth in profit when measured in an earnings-per-share and a dividends-per-share basis.
In other words, investing in big food makers has been a pretty smart play. Too bad these same multinationals are choosing to invest in big lobbying campaigns designed to bankrupt the same hardworking American farmers who have helped make their success story possible.