Reno — The Depression-era sugar program is significantly driving up the prices for food manufacturers’ ingredients, the second biggest cost on a business next to labor, Joe Dutra, Kimmie Candy Co. president and CEO, wrote in a Reno Gazette Journal op-ed.
Since relocating to Nevada in the early 2000s, Kimmie has continually grown its sales and production operations. The company now has 45 workers in a state that has nearly 150 food manufacturers, employing some 2,600, according to Dutra. However, the burden placed on these companies because of the sugar program is hindering further growth.
“And why does this continue to happen in Washington? It won’t surprise you to learn that Congress enables this program while accepting millions of dollars in campaign contributions from sugar-producing companies and other interests — none of which are located here in Nevada,” Dutra wrote. “Why else would elected officials support a program that has cost 123,000 jobs during the last 15 years, according to our own U.S. Commerce Department, and cost businesses and families more than $2.4 billion in added costs to food?”
Durta is calling on the Nevada’s Congressional representatives to bring down the commodity’s cost by supporting the Sugar Policy Modernization Act (H.R. 4265 / S. 2086), which has strong support from free-market advocates, environmentalists, small businesses, retailers and food manufacturers.
“Together, Nevada can send a message to the sugar lobbyists that now is the time to change this program to help Nevada businesses, not farmers scattered nowhere near our great state and its proud food manufacturing industry,” Dutra wrote.
To hear more on how the sugar policy is harming businesses, see the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy video series at fairsugarpolicy.org.