IDFA is a member of the Coalition for Sugar Reform, an alliance of food and beverage manufacturers, trade advocacy groups, environmental organizations, consumers, taxpayer organizations and others interested in reforming U.S. sugar policy. To provide a united voice online and bolster its efforts on Capitol Hill, the coalition last week launched a new website, www.SugarReform.org.
The site aims to activate grassroots efforts to educate lawmakers, stakeholders and consumers about the costs of the sugar program and the number of American jobs that are lost as a result. It also features a comprehensive resource center with an overview of current sugar reform legislation, economic studies on the impact of the sugar program, backgrounders and fact sheets.
Federal price supports keep the cost of U.S. sugar artificially high, nearly twice the world price. Strict import tariffs and quotas currently imposed by the United States on sugar imports make it difficult for food manufacturers to make up any shortfall by importing sugar. Tight supplies continue to drive up sugar prices.
"IDFA has consistently advocated for adequate sugar supplies at reasonable market prices," said John Kelly, IDFA manager of international affairs. "Sugar is a major input for IDFA members who make ice cream, flavored milk and other dairy products, and IDFA is working hard to ensure that our member's sugar requirements can be met in the market."
In April, IDFA and other trade groups commended Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) for introducing a bill to end U.S. sugar subsidies. "The Free Sugar Act of 2011," S.685, would repeal U.S. sugar price supports, supply restrictions and import quotas that result in high sugar prices and tight markets for IDFA members and other U.S. food manufacturers.
Lugar's bill is the second measure calling for an end to sugar subsidies to be offered in the Senate this year. In January, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) filed a bill called the Stop Unfair Giveaways (SUGAR) Act, S. 25, which has been referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry. IDFA also supports this bill.
In the House, Representatives Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Danny Davis (D-IL) have also introduced bipartisan legislation to reform the U.S. sugar program.
For more information, contact Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-3507.