As the holiday season kicks off, Americans will be reaching for a staple in their pantries to bake the foods that remind them of friends and family. From pumpkin pie to cookies for Santa, U.S. households have relied on domestic sugar supplies for generations.
But how does that sugar get from the field to the kitchen table? How has its price remained so low for so long? And what challenges could affect the future of U.S. sugar production?
“Sugar comes from sugarcane and sugarbeets,” the video explains. “Though the end product is the same, the refining process for the plants is slightly different.”
Viewers are then taken from harvest, to processing facilities and ultimately the grocery store. The complex, multi-step process supports 142,000 jobs across the country, according to ASA.
“Yes, it’s a lot of work but it’s worth it because it keeps America supplied with a with an affordable homegrown staple of the human diet,” the video concludes.
Future installments of the four-part series will examine sugar prices, sugar policy, and the global sugar market, which is largely dominated by foreign subsidies.
“America’s sugar farmers are among the most efficient in the world,” said ASA chairman Luther Markwart. “They produce an essential ingredient at an affordable price, but they couldn’t do it without the help of America’s no-cost sugar policy.”
That policy is currently being discussed as part of the ongoing Farm Bill debate, and some farm policy critics are angling to outsource America’s sugar needs to subsidized foreign industries.
Markwart said the video series is meant to help the public better understand domestic production, the sugar policy debate, and the U.S. jobs and farms at stake if it’s weakened.
The series will be available on www.sugaralliance.org.