Key leaders from the U.S. sugar industry are meeting in California this week for the 38th International Sweetener Symposium. The Symposium is an annual event held by the American Sugar Alliance.
Dr. Rob Johansson, Director of Economics and Policy Analysis for the American Sugar Alliance offers a preview of what farm leaders and industry experts will be discussing.
“Well, there’s a lot of challenges facing producers right now, sugarcane and sugarbeet producers – but there’s just as many opportunities, I would say. Our expert panels are going to update us on the supply-chain and demand outlook for U.S., North American, and world markets; and we’ll discuss with USDA and our stakeholders how our sugar producers can increase already high environmental standards, even in the face of rising input costs and weather challenges. In addition, we’re excited to welcome a number of members of Congress to the stage to talk about the importance of sugar policy in the upcoming Farm Bill.”
Dr. Johansson shares the message sugar producers have for Congress.
“We’re good for the economy and we’re good for American consumers. The sugar program is designed to operate at zero costs to the taxpayer. Our 11,000 family farmers support more than 151,000 jobs, reliably deliver over 70 percent of the sugar consumed in the U.S. and ultimately contribute more than $23 billion to the economy each year. Moreover, we provide a stable supply chain for just-in-time delivery for food manufacturers, which saves them on the cost side and improves their efficiency.”
Dr. Johansson further emphasized the breadth of this critical industry.
“Over the last couple of decades we’ve invested in our supply chain, and now our producers maintain a robust domestic supply chain with 90 strategic facilities in over two dozen states. That allows us to deliver to all of our markets. Sugar is a backbone to both rural and urban communities – including here in California. Not only is California the #1 ag state in the country, selling more crop and livestock products than any other state, it’s also the only state that has sugar production from both sugarbeets and sugarcane.”
This is the sixth time the Symposium has been held in California, home to both sugar-producing crops. To learn more about the International Sweetener Symposium and follow the conversation, you can find the American Sugar Alliance on Twitter using the handle #SugarAlliance, or by searching hashtag Sugar 2023.