For years Congress has missed opportunities to reform the U.S. sugar program. This outdated and outrageous program has not been modernized in 80 years. It is a rigged system that protects a concentrated group of 13 mega-processors at the risk of American small businesses and workers.
This sugar shakedown is baked into nearly every food, snack and treat, which results in zero benefit for the American consumer. The U.S. sugar program forces manufacturers to pay twice as much for sugar as the rest of the world, putting American small businesses at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to creating jobs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the sugar program killed 123,000 jobs between 1997 and 2015. The American Enterprise Institute estimates that the program costs small businesses and consumers $2.4 – $4 billion a year.
Some in Congress believe that we should wait for agriculture policies in other countries around the world to change before we address this problem here at home. It’s time to stop pretending that the need to reform the U.S. sugar program is about how other countries operate their governments. Right now these mega-processors operate at zero risk year-in and year-out while American small businesses and manufacturers get zero access to an adequate supply of sugar at a fair price and American manufacturing jobs are put in jeopardy.
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The Sugar Policy Modernization Act
The Sugar Policy Modernization Act of 2017, (H.R.4265 / S.2086), reforms the U.S. sugar program so that American companies who use sugar as an ingredient in their products have access to adequate amounts of the commodity at reasonable market prices. This legislation provides Congress with the opportunity to provide relief to small businesses and hardworking Americans from burdensome government mandates that have artificially kept sugar prices excessively high for manufacturers.
This bicameral, bipartisan legislation was introduced in November 2017 in the House by U.S. Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Danny Davis (D-IL), and in the Senate by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).
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HOW YOU CAN HELP!
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any,” said Pulitzer Prize author Alice Walker. We agree. Stand up with us and hundreds of thousands of Floridians who are speaking with one voice. Here are a few simple things you can do to help that won’t cost you a dime:
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. If you’d like help figuring out how to do that, just email or call us. We are happy to help.
- Call your State Representative and State Senator. Phone calls are much better than emails (which they mostly ignore). Here’s the best, simplest message to get across – “It doesn’t matter how much money you’ve taken from Big Sugar, you need to do the right thing for the Everglades and coastal estuaries. We are watching and voting!”
- Call Governor Rick Scott with the same message. Best number for him is (850) 488-7146. Speak to a live person, if possible.
- Call your Congressman or Congresswoman and Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio. Phone calls are much better than emails (which they mostly ignore). Here’s the best, simplest message to get across – It doesn’t matter how much money you’ve taken from Big Sugar, you need to do the right thing. Ask them to sign on to the Sugar Policy Modernization Act that will finally reform the sugar subsidy program.
- Sign the Now Or Neverglades declaration, adding your voice to hundreds of thousands of other Floridians or lovers of the Everglades. You will be joining with our conservation partners, like the Everglades Foundation, Audubon, Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Florida Wildlife Federation, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Bullsugar, Captains for Clean Water and hundreds of thousands of Floridians. Here's a list of many of our corporate partners in the Now Or Neverglades movement.
- Visit often. Ask questions. We’re here to help. Be extremely confident in knowing your advocacy is backed up by overwhelming sound science and research.
- Vote in the August 28 primaries and in the general elections on November 6. As they approach, we will be telling you about the candidates. We’ll share the good, the bad and the ugly.
- Get your family and friends to do all of the above.
Not sure who your State Representative or State Senator is? We’ve got you covered. Link to find your state legislators.
If you aren’t sure who your Congressman or Congresswoman is, here’s a handy link to find them. You will also find their Washington, DC, office phone numbers. Every Floridian has two US Senators – Marco Rubio (202) 224-3041and Bill Nelson (202) 224-5274. Link to find your federal legislators.