Washington — Last week, NCA and the American Bakers Association joined forces on Capitol Hill as legislators welcomed candymakers and bakers from across the state of Maryland for a “drive-in” to discuss the U.S. sugar program.
The focus of the meetings was to generate congressional support for the Sugar Policy Modernization Act of 2017 (H.R. 4265 / S. 2086). The bill, calling for modest reform, would not abolish the current program or hurt farmers. Modernization of the program would create an adequate supply of sugar based on a reasonable competitive approach that reaches from the farm to the retail shelf.
Companies that attended the policy drive-in, such as Goetze’s Candy Co. Inc. and Shay’s Confections, have long championed for a modification to the current U.S. sugar program which has not been updated in the past 80 years.
“As a family-owned and -operated confectionery business located in Baltimore, we keep a close eye on all our costs so we can provide our treats to not only our local community, but nationwide,” commented Jeff Pensak, of Shay’s Confections. “We would love nothing more than to continue to grow our business domestically and even sell internationally, but the current U.S. sugar program keeps the price of domestic sugar artificially high, almost twice the global rate, for one of our main ingredients. We want our business to be a great American success story, but need Congress to level the playing field and support the Sugar Policy Modernization Act to help us achieve that goal.”
The Sugar Policy Modernization Act continues to receive bipartisan support in both the House and Senate ahead of the upcoming Farm Bill vote. Visit sugarreform.org to learn more and find out how to contact your member of Congress.