Washington, D.C. – “Sugar is an important industry because food is a national security issue,” Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA-21) told sugar producers at the 38th International Sweetener Symposium.
The California congressman emphasized the importance of family farmers – including American sugar producers – to ensuring food security. When it comes to trade, Congressman Costa stated U.S. producers are the best. “We (American farmers) can compete with anyone on the world if there’s a level playing field and it’s fair.”
Congressman Costa understands agriculture on a personal level. As a third-generation family farmer who was raised on a dairy farm, Costa’s experience has allowed him to combine his farming background and public service. He has represented the San Joaquin Valley in Congress for almost two decades.
The Congressman serves as a senior Democratic member on the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. He is the Ranking Member of the Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Subcommittee and a member of the Commodity Markets, Digital Assets, and Rural Development Subcommittee. Additionally, he is a member and past Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, where he helps create bipartisan support for many legislative initiatives, including agriculture.
Jeff Rustvang, Vice President for Government Affairs, Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative which includes Spreckels Sugar Company in California, thanked Congressman Costa for his remarks. “U.S. sugar producers are proud to be a part of California’s agriculture economic engine. Thank you for understanding how important it is to keep our domestic supply chain strong. We are confident that Congress can pass a strong, bipartisan Farm Bill that supports American producers and ensures the future of our agriculture system. For us, having a strong sugar policy in the Farm Bill is key.”