Candy makers voice concerns with Farm Bill, sugar industry

The American Sugar Alliance stated that the nation’s sugar policy has cost taxpayers nothing since the 2014 Farm Bill. | File photo
Commercial candy proponents recently struck a nerve with sugar industry stakeholders when a trade association accused the government of burdening taxpayers with extra tariffs on the sweet stuff — despite little or no evidence of cause.
 
The Washington, D.C.-based Sweetener Users Association (SUA) complained that “big sugar processors defaulted on government loans, [and] taxpayers were left holding the bag," linking the alleged result to a farm bill signed in February 2014 — when in fact the referenced expenses occurred in 2013, before the measure was passed.
 
Federal policies have spiked sugar prices in the past, an action that not only appeals to the sugar industry, but also sweetens the corn industry’s coffers as manufacturers may switch to less-costly corn syrup for their products, 
 
Additionally, as early as 2012, the Washington Examiner posited that at least one major candy producer, Ferrara Pan Candy Co., outsourced its production to Mexico and/or Canada due to sugar prices outside the U.S being much lower.
 
Now, industry stakeholders in the “Big Candy” lobby urged the U.S. Department of Commerce to “gut sugar policy in the next Farm Bill,” despite the department having no direct involvement in the legislation.
 
In its complaint, SUA also overlooked the fact that the government took decisive steps to prevent the North American sugar sector from imploding after Mexico supplied the U.S. with subsidized sugar, said spokespersons for the American Sugar Alliance, a national coalition of sugarcane and sugar beet producers.
 
The American Sugar Alliance stated that the nation’s sugar policy has cost taxpayers nothing since the 2014 Farm Bill; moreover, projections by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Congressional Budget Office indicate that the “cost” will remain at zero for the lifespan of the bill.
 
The National Confectioners Association added that over $2 million in subsidies is readily available to the candy industry, available through a U.S. Department of Agriculture program.

Organizations in this story

American Sugar Alliance 2111 Wilson Boulevard Suite 600 Arlington, VA 22201

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