Contact: Susan Smith
The National Confectioners Association announced its support today for a bipartisan bill, SUGAR (Stop Unfair Giveaway and Restrictions) Act, introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and co-sponsored by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) which, if enacted, would substantially reform the archaic U.S. sugar program.
“The current sugar program artificially limits the supply of sugar in the United States, causing tremendous and sometimes irreversible harm to U.S. candy makers, especially smaller candy companies,” said Larry Graham, president of the trade association. “Due to the high cost of sugar and increasingly tight supply, U.S. jobs at these companies are at serious risk. In the confectionery industry alone, we have lost 15,000 jobs in the last few years,” Graham added.
In addition, as Senator Shaheen points out, the sugar program costs consumers $4 billion a year, and disproportionately benefits a small group of sugar growers. There are less than 5,000 sugarcane and sugar beet growers in the United States today.
The SUGAR Act will phase out the sugar support program to start giving Americans a fair deal, save consumers billions of dollars and allow U.S. confectioners, bakers and food manufacturers to stay in business. The bill helps confectioners across the country including Original Gourmet Food Company and Lindt & Sprungli (USA) Inc., both located in the Senator's home state of New Hampshire.
Under current law the U.S. government is obliged to set legal limits on the amount of sugar that domestic processors are permitted to sell, and to establish strict limits in imports as mandated by law. These limits have resulted in significant supply shortages.
“U.S. confectioners rely on sugar to make their products, meet their payroll and maintain jobs in their local communities,” concluded Graham. “U.S. companies cannot compete on our own soil with foreign candy companies who pay much lower world sugar prices and import their candies into the U.S. The bill introduced today by Senator Shaheen would go a long way in keeping U.S. confectionery company jobs in hometowns across America.”
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About the National Confectioners Association (NCA) - The National Confectioners Association fosters industry growth by advancing the interests of the confectionery industry and its customers. Serving as the voice of the industry, the Association advocates for the needs of the industry before government bodies, helps the industry understand and implement food safety and other regulations, provides information to help members strengthen business in today's competitive environment and creates relationships between all sectors of the industry including manufacturers, brokers, trade customers, suppliers to the industry and our consumers.