“While reform was a key ingredient to this new Farm Bill, ABA is disappointed that the archaic sugar program once again remains intact. The current program continues to put bakers, consumers and other food manufacturers at a disadvantage, and sends thousands of jobs overseas,” said ABA President & CEO Robb MacKie.
The current U.S. sugar program represents the most supply-control focused program in agriculture policy. It even goes so far as to prevent the USDA from reacting to market demands for six months out of every year. This has created multiple supply concerns in the past and will undoubtedly lead to more issues in the future. This being said, congressional supporters of sugar reform gained substantial momentum this past year, and ABA will continue to propel efforts for reform as we move forward.
While bakers continue to be harmed by the current sugar policy, ABA is pleased with progress made on the Conservation Reserve Program. Millions of acres of non-environmentally-sensitive farmland have been removed from this program over the past few Farm Bills and this allows farmers to bring these lands back into production to meet market demands.
“Even though Congress just passed a new five-year Farm Bill, the debate for the next Farm Bill begins now. ABA will continue to aggressively pursue needed agriculture reforms in support of the baking industry, “concluded President MacKie.