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SWEETENER USERS ASSOCIATION COMMENDS U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR INCREASING THE SUGAR IMPORT QUOTA

June 22, 2011

 Media Contact:
Trudi Boyd and Brooke Saltzer for the Sweetener Users Association

Trudi.Boyd@fd.com
(202) 346-8841

Brooke.Saltzer@fd.com
(202) 346-8859

Second Increase in 2011 Emphasizes Need for Reform of the U.S. Sugar Program;

Additional Increases Are Needed to Ensure Adequate Domestic Supplies

Washington, DC (June 22, 2011) - The Sweetener Users Association (SUA) has issued the following statement following today's announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that the sugar tariff rate quota will be increased:

"The Sweetener Users Association commends the Department of Agriculture for providing a second increase in the 2011 raw sugar tariff rate quota. In an undersupplied market with record or near-record prices, every additional ton of sugar is helpful. We remain concerned that because USDA may currently be overestimating available supplies and underestimating actual demand, this TRQ increase may not result in fully adequate stocks. USDA has stated that further adjustments during 2011 are possible, and we commend the Department for that posture.

SUA and its members continue to advocate for additional quota increases that will be necessary to ensure adequate supplies, and will help consumers, small businesses, and workers without harming producers in any way. Current sugar supplies are excessively tight, and the results are logistical problems for businesses, higher expenses, and higher prices for consumers.

We support continued monitoring of sugar supplies in view of uncertainty about both the cane and beet crops, and how that will impact the need for another reallocation. To that end, we respectfully suggest such adjustments ought to occur sooner rather than later. A good first step would be to allow for early entry of the 2012 TRQ, and late entry of the 2011 TRQ, as USDA did last year.

The fact that USDA needed to announce a TRQ increase shows the urgent need to change the sugar program. The current policy severely restricts USDA's ability to allow critical imports, and at the same time mandates company-by-company limits on domestic sugar sales, emphasizing the need for top-to-bottom reform."

About the Sweetener Users Association

The Sweetener Users Association represents companies that use nutritive sweeteners in making foods and beverages, as well as the trade associations that represent these companies.

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