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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Nearly 100 members of the National Confectioners Association (NCA) are converging in Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to reform the Depression-era U.S. sugar program in the 2012 Farm Bill.
Currently, the sugar program keeps U.S. sugar prices artificially high, costing consumers and sugar-using companies $3.5 billion annually and sacrificing up to 20,000 potential American jobs each year, according to the association.
Sugar reform of the current U.S. sugar program has become the NCA's highest-priority public policy issue, as CSNews Online exclusively reported in November 2011.
"All sugar users are negatively impacted by the U.S. sugar program, which keeps sugar supplies tight and prices artificially high. More than two-thirds of the candy companies we represent are small- and medium-sized businesses, and they are hurt most, as they are likely to pay higher unit prices and are often last in line when supplies are low," said Larry Graham, president of NCA and chairman of the Coalition for Sugar Reform. "Our message to Congress is simple -- reform the U.S. sugar program to help ensure the industry can compete on a level playing field with our foreign competitors, and create and sustain jobs in the United States."
NCA's efforts toward sugar reform include an ad in today's Politico. The ad points out that America's candy makers employ 200,000 Americans -- and that these jobs are threatened by the current sugar policy.
NCA and members of the Coalition for Sugar Reform are calling on the House of Representatives to debate the merits of the sugar program when it considers the 2012 Farm Bill. In video messages to Congress this summer, NCA members explained to lawmakers why these reforms are necessary to help confectioners better compete and support jobs in the United States.
The Coalition for Sugar Reform represents consumer, trade, and commerce groups, manufacturing associations, and food and beverage companies that use sugar -- including confectioners, bakers, cereal manufacturers, beverage makers and dairy companies -- as well as the trade associations for these industries.