Contact: Marti Pupillo
(Washington, D.C. – February 22, 2012) The implementation of U.S. sugar policy under the current Farm Bill and prospects for the upcoming Farm Bill were just a few of the topics covered at this year's International Sweetener Colloquium, February 12-15, at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, Fla. This year’s event drew more than 440 industry professionals, making it one of the largest events in recent years.
Hosted by the International Dairy Foods Association and the Sweetener Users Association, the event addressed the sweetener industry's latest challenges, obstacles and opportunities with presentations from a wide range of speakers.
Keynote Discusses USDA Actions
Michael Scuse, acting under secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, kicked off the program with a keynote address. He outlined the actions USDA has taken to make up for shortfalls in domestic sugar supplies. He also emphasized the need for continued transparency in the administration of the U.S. sugar program, which falls to USDA under the Farm Bill. Scuse and his department are responsible for implementing provisions of the federal sugar program.
IDFA and other representatives from sweetener-using industries applauded the under secretary's remarks. The sugar-using industries, including dairy, widely oppose the current U.S. sugar program because it constricts needed sugar imports, leading to tight supplies in the U.S. domestic sugar market and higher costs for processors and consumers. Consequently, U.S. food manufacturers must rely on USDA to increase sugar imports to provide adequate supplies at reasonable prices.
“Thanks to Acting Under Secretary Scuse’s leadership, the administration of the sugar program has attained greater balance, and his statements at the Colloquium point toward more transparency and clarity,” said John Kelly, IDFA manager of International affairs. “We applaud his efforts and USDA's actions to assure adequate sugar supplies.”
2012 Farm Bill
The outlook for U.S. sugar policy in the lead-up to the new Farm Bill was another topic that garnered significant interest. Several panelists contemplated the prospects of a Farm Bill in a politically charged election year with significant underlying budgetary issues.
Other topics covered include ethanol and biofuels, corn and alternative sweeteners, and the outlook for and dynamics of U.S. and international sweetener markets.
"Sweetener-using industries, such as dairy, face a variety of challenges while operating in a complex economic environment,” said Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president. "Each year this meeting provides a critical forum for all participants in the sweetener industry, and we're certain that trend will continue through the next Farm Bill and years beyond."
IDFA, SUA Thank Sponsors
IDFA would like to thank the 12 companies that sponsored events and activities during the International Sweetener Colloquium. They are: ED&F Man; Imperial Sugar; Corn Products; Domino Sugar; National Sugar Marketing; Blackhive; Jenkins Sugar Group; Sweetener Supply Corporation; ADM Sweeteners and Cocoa; Ice Futures; CSC Sugar; and Roquette. More information about these companies is available here.
The 2013 International Sweetener Colloquium will be held February 10-13 at The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs, Fla. For more information, contact Kelly at (202) 220-3507 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85% of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.