American Bakers Association Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2012
Contact: Cory Martin
Senior Manager, Government Relations
Ph: (202) 789-0300
Washington, D.C. – Today, the American Bakers Association (ABA) strongly urged the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of an amendment to the Agriculture Food, Farm and Jobs Act, or the Senate Farm Bill, reforming the current U.S. Sugar Program. “The current sugar program costs consumers as much as $3.5 billion a year and sacrifices 20,000 domestic manufacturing jobs annually,” said ABA President and CEO Robb MacKie, in a letter to the Senate. “With today’s anemic job growth, it is unconscionable that Congress would continue to support a program that encourages businesses both large and small to move offshore,” he continued.
“The sugar program has been a windfall program for sugar growers,” added Cory Martin, ABA senior manager of government relations. “While bakers have been paying record high prices for U.S. sugar, growers have been enjoying a program that subsidizes their industry by billions each year.”
“Even the Canadian government has recognized the benefits of the U.S. sugar program,” added Martin, referring to a brochure creating by the Canadian government urging U.S. food producers to move their production facilities to Canada to gain access to the world sugar market. According to the Canadian government, bakers could save 30 to 40 percent on sugar costs by relocating production up north. “Why anyone would support a program that encourages companies to move production offshore is beyond me,” continued Martin, “yet, we’ve had the sugar program in place for decades, leading to the loss of over 125,000 jobs between 1997 and 2010.”
The Senate is set to begin floor deliberations of the 2012 Farm Bill this week, with votes possibly extending until the end of June.
About the American Bakers Association:
The American Bakers Association (ABA) is the Washington D.C.-based voice of the wholesale baking industry. Since 1897, ABA has represented the interests of bakers before the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and international regulatory authorities. ABA advocates on behalf of more than 700 baking facilities and baking company suppliers. ABA members produce bread, rolls, crackers, bagels, sweet goods, tortillas and many other wholesome, nutritious, baked products for America’s families. The baking industry generates more than $102 billion in economic activity annually and employs more than 633,000 highly skilled people.