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IDFA Joins Coalition Urging USDA to Address Sugar Shortage

Aug 17, 2009

IDFA, along with more than 20 other businesses and trade associations, sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging him to increase the sugar tariff rate quota (TRQ) immediately in response to tight sugar supplies. Approximately 200 IDFA members use sugar in their products and are affected by domestic supply levels.

The letter cites the U.S. Department of Agriculture's own forecast in "World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates," which says that unless imports are increased, the United States will end the next fiscal year with less than 13 days' worth of sugar on hand. This would be the lowest stocks-to-use ratio the U.S. sugar market has ever encountered.

"IDFA has consistently advocated for adequate sugar supplies at reasonable market prices," said Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president. "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."

The signatories warned that if the supply situation is not addressed quickly, the nation could see higher food prices and job losses in food manufacturing sectors. The letter to Vilsack has garnered national media attention, being featured in both the Wall Street Journal and on National Public Radio (NPR).

For more information on IDFA's advocacy efforts in the sweetener industry, contact Katie Sparrow, IDFA manager of international affairs, at (202) 220-3507 or

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