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Sugar Farmers Host D.C. Fly-in This Week

The nation’s sugar farmers are in Washington, D.C. this week as part of the American Sugar Alliance annual fly-in. Patrick Frischhertz, a member of the American Sugar Cane League National Legislative Committee and a Louisiana farmer, says the event helps Congress know what’s important to the sugar industry.

He says, “We’re here with the American Sugar Alliance who represents America’s sugar producers, processors, and workers to advocate for a strong and stable sugar policy in the Farm Bill. For producers like us, that means we need a reliable safety net and a level playing field, which is what sugar policy supports. Importantly, because subsidy payments are not a part of the policy — the program operates at zero cost to the taxpayer and helps keep sugar affordable for consumers. Our goal is to maintain our farms for future generations. We also want to support American jobs and American consumers that depend on our industry for the vital domestic supplies of sugar. We can do that thanks to a strong U.S. sugar policy.”

Frischhertz says it’s important to maintain a level playing field for American sugar producers. He says, “Well, the sugar industry plays a vital role in our economy–we are 11,000 family farmers who generate more than 151,000 jobs across more than two dozen states. We reliably deliver over 70 percent of the sugar consumed in the U.S. We pride ourselves on being efficient and competitive farmers–but no farmer can compete against foreign governments dumping heavily subsidized sugar into the market. That’s where the Farm Bill comes in, and why we need a strong and stable sugar policy that prevents this market manipulation from destabilizing the U.S. market and destroying American jobs.”

He says the sugar industry has a great story to tell. Frischhertz, “We are always encouraged to see that there’s such strong support for sugar policy across the political spectrum. At the same time, we don’t take any of that for granted. It’s important to us to educate policymakers about where our sugar comes from, and why that’s so important. Our industry has built a strong and resilient supply chain–the sugar is stored and distributed from 90 strategically located facilities, so it’s ready for delivery whenever it’s needed and readily available on your grocery store shelves. All Americans benefit from having strong domestic sugar production – and we were honored to come here and deliver that message.”

Looking ahead, he outlines the next steps for the American Sugar Alliance and the sugar industry as a whole.

He says, “Our big focus right now, obviously, is the Farm Bill. That’s where we’ll continue to engage with policymakers here at the federal level. We also always make sure to invite members of Congress and their staff to come visit our farms and see for themselves the work we’re doing. Obviously, we are proud of what we do on our farms. That includes expanding our sustainability efforts. Better sustainability includes higher efficiencies, good farming practices, and embracing advances in technology as they become practical at the farm level. This ensures our industry remains competitive and resilient for the generations that come after us and keep this great tradition going as well as meeting customer and consumer expectations.”

Learn more on the American Sugar Alliance website at sugaralliance.org.

Story provided by the NAFB News Service

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